6 Aug 2013

THE SNOW CHILD.

THE SNOW CHILD by EOWYN IVEY.

SOURCE: A Readers Group read.

November, 1920.

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 two 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?
...... Inner front cover

FIRST SENTENCE (Part 1: Chapter 1: Wolverine River, Alaska, 1920):
Mabel had known there would be silence.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 160): The snowflake was no bigger than the smallest skirt button. It was six pointed with fernlike tips and a hexagonal heart, and it sat in the child's palm like a tiny feather when it should have melted.

MY THOUGHTS: Inspired by an old Russian folk tale, The Snow Child is set in 1920's Alaska where, grieving the loss of their only child, Mabel and Jack seek solace in a landscape of frozen loveliness.

Essentially the tale of the price people will pay in order to fulfil their hearts desires this is a truly enchanting tale. Vivid, powerful and as heartbreaking as it is life affirming. My heart went out to the childless couple and even more so to Faina, the Snow Child of the title, who, as beautiful as she is mysterious, it wasn't until finishing the book I realised we never actually got to truly know. 

Though very much a character led novel the author far from skimps on details of life on a remote homestead in a land that is as harsh as it is bounteous. A totally spellbinding read, beautifully written and very atmospheric, this is a debut novel with all the attributes of a classic.


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18 comments:

Suko said...

I've had my eye on this book for a while. Thanks for a very lovely review.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Great review- never seen a review of this one. Love that it focuses so wonderfully on the characterization.

Heather said...

I added this one to my TBR list as soon as I heard about it, but I have yet to acquire a copy.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh sounds interesting. I might have passed it up but I do think I want to check it out. I love the way you make the writing sound so lyrical.

Literary Feline said...

I received a copy of this for Christmas and really need to make time to read it. It sounds wonderful and I'm so glad you liked it.

StarTraci said...

Sounds lovely and intriguing! I love updates to folk and fairy tales.
:-)
Traci

Naida said...

Your review makes me want to read it asap.

Mama Zen said...

This sounds really good!

Mamakucingbooks said...

I have heard of this book but the story sounded so sad. Hence dont dare to read.

Jean said...

I read this book a little while ago. I really enjoyed it - so full of emotion - I wish there were more stories out there like this. I think too that it could be a classic. So much better than most of the churned out rubber stamp detective or scandal/romance drivel that passes as literature.

Betty Manousos said...

hi tracy

just getting the chance now to say hello!

this sounds really intriguing and lovely. and i really like the cover.

big hugs, my dearest!
xx

Brian Joseph said...

I really like it when old folktales are novelized like this. I am glad to hear that this was a character based story.It seems like that was the right direction for the author to go here.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I was so happy to see this review! I have this book on my shelf (I won it) and was going to start it yesterday- but I picked up a different book. Now I will have to read this one soon! :) Glad you enjoyed it.

Lindsay said...

Glad to see you liked this one Tracy. I enjoyed it too, and found it very moving and magical.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

This sounds like just my kind of book, full of descriptive writing and excellent characterisations.

I can't believe I haven't come across it before, seeing as it has over 800 reviews on Amazon and nearly all 5 stars!

Eowyn sounds like such a lovely person and her website was fun to explore. family life plays such an important part of her life and setting her stories in an area she knows so well, obviously makes her feel very happy and fulfilled.

A nice review, thanks for sharing.

Yvonne

Kelly said...

This sounds delightful!

Gina R said...

Yay! So glad you enjoyed it too. I remember when I read this one...it had me captivated without much effort at all. Thanks for the fab review!

Claudine G. said...

I'll put this on my to-read list and look for it at my library. Several things that captured my attention: the cover, the title, then the synopsis and finally, your stamp-of-approval of this book. I must read it then. :)