Author Eowyn Ivey
Publisher Reagan Arthur Book
Publication Date February 1, 2012
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.
- In The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey Mable and Jack’s neighbors were one of the high points in the story. They felt more developed and dimensional. Ester’s vibrancy and boisterous nature added some life that was desperately needed. The novel was lovingly written. The fact that no quotation marks were used for Faina gave it a fairy tale-like quality.
Not Fond Of
Jake and Mable were very one dimensional. While their Alaskan farming skills developed nothing else did. Mable remained fretful and jumpy and a complete worrywart and Jack ever wanting to learn but constantly pictured him with glazed eyes and that Homer Simpson “Duh” look on his face. This didn’t bother me while I was reading the book. After I finished The Snow Child and sat back to digest the thought, huh, all they really did was bemoan the fact that they were childless. The Snow Child was predictable and repetitive. Faina appears, then she disappears and then reappears again. She was along the lines of a hibernating bear.
I wasn’t familiar with The Snow Maiden. After completing the Snow Child I read the fable it was based on and thought it was a nice if simplistic retelling. I think it would make a good Hallmark movie.