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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Eowyn Ivey

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3,3152682,615 (3.99)368
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.--From Amazon.… (more)
Title:The Snow Child
Authors:Eowyn Ivey
Info:New York: Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books, 2012
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Snow Child: A Novel by Eowyn Ivey (Author) (2012)

  1. 60
    The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw (Becchanalia)
    Becchanalia: Same delicate language and imagery, a similar sense of wistful beauty and elements of magical realism.
  2. 71
    The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel by Helene Wecker (Iudita)
  3. 30
    The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Iudita)
    Iudita: Beautifully written and based on folklore.
  4. 00
    The Gracekeepers: A Novel by Kirsty Logan (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: A folk tale brought to life.
  5. 03
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (suniru)
    suniru: Both books center upon orphans and both have fairy tale roots.

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» See also 368 mentions

English (262)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  All languages (267)
Showing 1-5 of 262 (next | show all)
Read this while in Qatar... a funny place to read about Snow! ( )
  DeidreH | Jan 26, 2020 |
I love Eowyn Ivey’s writing with all my heart. She is such a wonderful and romantic writer. I love her style. ( )
  ladyofliterature | Jan 9, 2020 |
Exciting great story of two themes; wanting then raising a child, and the difficulties of farming in the wilderness of the far north.
But I like satisfying endings and I don't feel this book ends well, for the characters in it, or the reading public.

This is not a light summer fun read but a serious book of life struggles and wishes, with some magical graphic descriptions of the beauty of the wild places mixed in. ( )
  billsearth | Jan 3, 2020 |
This book was polar opposite to my previous read. Not only in location, Australia versus Alaska, but climatically and in tone. After the brutality and coarse language of the earlier book this was a balm to the senses.
The story revolves around a mature couple, Jack and Mabel, whose only child was stillborn. To escape their grief and loss they move to Alaska and battle the elements. In a moment of whimsy they create a snow child, as distinct from snowman. Donning it with red scarf and gloves. In the morning they find it melted and the scarf and gloves gone. In the ensuing weeks and months they notice a white haired girl wearing them. She eventually trusts them enough to visit and join them for occasional meals. One day, the child Fiana, asks Jack to follow her. She takes him to where she lives in a cave in the hills. He finds the corpse of her father and helps her bury him. She pleads with him to tell no-one and rather than lose her friendship, he agrees. She continues to live and survive in the wilderness
Mabel realizes that they are like the couple in a Russian fairy tale she read as a child and yet Fiana is real. Eventually after a few years she meets their close friends the Bensons, who have three sons. Their youngest, Garrett, is not interested in farming but loves the isolation of hunting and trapping.
Although there was a certain amount of predictability to this tale, I was captivated by the gentle storyline and characters. It has a certain feel good quality and I loved the descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness, which became a character in itself . ( )
  HelenBaker | Nov 3, 2019 |
A lovely retelling of the old story but nothing unexpected. ( )
  NML_dc | Aug 17, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 262 (next | show all)
"Inspired by the Russian fairy tale The Snow Maiden, Eowyn Ivey's deubut novel, The Snow Child (Back Bay: Little, Brown. 2012. ISBN 9780316175661. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316192958), features Jack and Mabel, a childless couple grieving their infant son's death. ...richly evokes landscape and nature as it explores the many types of families that find their way into being."
added by KoobieKitten | editLibrary Journal | January 2015 | Vol. 140 No. 1, Andrea Tarr (Jan 1, 2015)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ivey, EowynAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arlinghaus, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Biekmann, LidwienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, IsabelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grinde, HeidiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, Marielle NielsenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, ToniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pareschi, MonicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ransome, ArthurContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'Wife, let us go into the yard behind and make a little snow girl; and perhaps she will come alive, and be a little daughter to us.'
'Husband' says the old woman, 'there's no knowing what may be. Let us go into the yard and make a little snow girl.'

The Little Daughter of the Snow' by Arthur Ransome
For my daughters, Grace and Aurora
First words
Mabel had known there would be silence.
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Disambiguation notice
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Book description
A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska.

Jack and Mabel have staked everything on making a fresh start for themselves in a homestead 'at the world's edge' in the raw Alaskan wilderness. But as the days grow shorter, Jack is losing his battle to clear the land, and Mabel can no longer contain her grief for the baby she lost many years before.

The evening the first snow falls, their mood unaccountably changes. In a moment of tenderness, the pair are surprised to find themselves building a snowman - or rather a snow girl - together. The next morning, all trace of her has disappeared, and Jack can't quite shake the notion that he glimpsed a small figure - a child? - running through the spruce trees in the dawn light. And how to explain the little but very human tracks Mabel finds at the edge of their property?

Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairytale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic - the story of a couple who take a child into their hearts, all the while knowing they can never truly call her their own.
L'Alaska , es forêts impénétarables , ses étendues enneigées . Son silence . Sa solitude. Depuis la mort de leur bébé , le marriage de Mabel et Jack n'a plus jamais été le même . Partir vivre sur ces terres inhospitalières paraissait alors une bonne idée . Peu de temps après , une petite fille apparaît près de leur cabane , parfois suivie d'un renard roux tout aussi farouche qu'elle . Qui est elle ? D'où vient elle ? Et si cette petite fille etait la clé de ce Bonheur qu'ils n'attendaient plus ? Inspiré d'un conte traditionnel ruse , la fille de l'hiver est à la fois un roman moderne et intemporel où le réalisme des descriptions n'enlève rien à la poésie d'une histoire merveilleuse ... dans tous les sens du terme.
Haiku summary
Set in Alaska,
A gentle tale about a
Snow child. Or is she?

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