Best: the good hearts of the charactersLeast: the narrator
The ending did not make sense to me. If this is indicative of a "Russion fairy tale", I am not much of a fan.
Different narrator with more expression in the vocals would have done wonders for this bleak story. Or maybe it was the narrator that was bleak.
Poor choice in narrator. She had a pleasant voice, but she read very flat and blah. I kept thinking it would improve. It did not.
I think the summary needs changed to better reflect the nature of the story. When I decided to buy it, I anticipated a fairy tale experience. It's more mundane than expected. I would have enjoyed it more as a historical fiction featuring the town and the families. I'm also not a fan of 'I'll throw on an epilogue to make sure everyone knows how I saw the future for my characters' writing. I'd rather have had the book end and be left to evaluate teh people and situation on my own.
With the resurrgence of fairy tales in Hollywood, I could see this as a movie. Something quirky, like Moonrise Kingdom or Butter.
yes,narrator was good!
the book was well narrated but i just wish it had a different ending & from the beginning you pretty much knew it wasn't going to end well.
Reading is the cheapest ticket to a journey in another place and time. Where you can observe peoples deepest thoughts and aspirations.
I can't stop telling people about this book. The author does such a magnificent job of describing the great Alaskan frontier that I'm left awestruck. Never have I read anyone describe the wilderness and nature so well. All the while spinning a plot that leaves you questioning what is real and is make believe. Is the snow child real? This is magic!
This is quite a beautiful story, imagined in the cold of the far, far north. You can feel the climate, the extremes of weather, of temperament, of love and loss, of being lost. You can see the beauty of the environment and feel placed there with the characters, some emerging from the ice of their past, some content with the raw pace of surviving.
And the child, she is beautiful, foreign, mysterious and elusive.
But I felt let down by this book, the ending felt contrived, as if the ideas were cut short at their birth and the child leaves the story deflated like a balloon loosing all it's air as soon as it reaches it's capacity. There could have been so much more....
Sappy story with no possibility it could ever happen in real life. Maybe something you could read to a 6 year old child, like a fairy tale. Obviously not what I care for, but with 1050 books I have learned to expect about 33.33% I really like, 33.33% I can get through with no problem, and 33.33% that I have to force myself to finish, sometimes leaving off and going back one or more times. This one is in the last group.
You be the judge.
sweet, sweet story
Fresh and imaginative, a story sparked by loss and desire. Well written, well narrated.
A good narrator brings his/her characters to life. Debra Monk is an excellent narrator.
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
This book is enchanting and beautiful! It ranks as one of my favorites of the year. The only other one that comes close is Beautiful Ruins. I feel like I’ve been wrapped in a different world and it is really hard to disentangle myself! I didn’t want it to end.
The book is like a magical fairy tale. At first I thought the element of magic was meant only as a way to make Jack and Mabel, the older couple in the story, happy again. However, as the book progressed, I could see that it was not only for this purpose but to help Mabel, and the reader, appreciate and love the absolute beauty and truth inherent in nature. Mabel goes from hardly leaving her cabin in Alaska to appreciating in an almost worshipful way the beauty, wildness, and freedom of their life in Alaska.
Faina, the fairy-like girl in this book, represents nature in all its beauty and wildness. Faina, and nature, essentially can’t be tamed, controlled, or changed. Her essence is wild; that’s who she is. Mabel, and the reader, come to understand and appreciate that as the book moves along.
The author does a fantastic job of examining the relationship of the main couple, Jack and Mabel. That part is totally realistic, well-written and nuanced and is a great balance to the other-worldly nature of Faina and her story. I love the scene in the beginning when they are so estranged and yet they find an intimate time together out in the snow.
“Wait,” she said. “Let’s make a snowman.”
“A snowman. It’s perfect. Perfect snow for a snowman.” He hesitated. He was tired. It was late. They were too old for such nonsense. There were a dozen reasons not to, Mabel knew, but instead he set the lantern back in the snow.
“All right,” he said. There was reluctance in the hang of his head, but he pulled off his leather work gloves. He took her cheek in his bare hand, and with his thumb wiped melted snow from beneath her eye. “All right.”
Just the description of brushing the melted snow from his wife’s cheek actually had me tearing up with the intimacy of the gesture. That’s when I started appreciating her writing.
I love the way the author weaves her book in and around an old Russian fairy tale. The book was just the right combination of magical suggestion and reality. Reading about how Eowyn, the author, came upon the story and just knew that this old story would inhabit her new novel was magical in itself. I could hardly believe this was her first novel. When I see her picture, she looks so young and innocent. It is so fitting that she lives in Alaska and has experienced some of the wild life that Faina represents. Her wedding picture on Facebook made me think of Faina a little bit ☺
Is Faina real? What a marvelous ambivalence is drawn around this question. The story can be read literally to say that Faina is human and flesh and blood. However, there are so many magical references and so much symbolism relating to her close relationship with the snow, the cold, and the wild creatures, that the reader is never entirely sure of just where Faina stands. The ending, too, has some slight ambivalence. I was left wanting to know more about what happened to Faina, even as I understood it at a deeper level.
I wanted to really love this book. After reading the reviews, I hoped I would find myself so immersed in Alaska & the characters lives but overall, it just didn't do it for me. I did enjoy the story. I thought it was well written and the narrator was very good but I think my expectations were set too high after reading the reviews.
magical, absorbing, beautiful
All of the characters were strong and memorable. All were well developed.
A book to listen to when you need a story to carry you away. A story that will make you forget everything going on in your life. Magical and beautifully read. Highly recommended.