Captivating, magical & penetrating
The vivid language and captivating weave of storytelling that wraps around the reader, pulling them ever deeper into a magical setting & the tender intimacy of the characters lives & experiences.... A classic worth reading time & time again
Yes - right after it began & the moment continued to linger after the book finished
This is a timeless story that I know I will listen to again & again. Quite likely the best book I've ever purchased through Audible - great praise considering that I am rather attached to my audible library & dearly love the vast majority of the titles I've collected.
So many adventures, hardships and happy times.
Seewana coming into the lives of Jack and Mabel
Seewana was always able to take care of herself, so knowledgably about the outdoors. Survival skills.
Seewana melted away leaving her husband and son behind.
Book is a good read for young teens to young adults. However of my age I still enjoyed it very much.
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.
Enchanting is the word that comes to mind when I think of this beautiful but sad novel. It is the story of a broken hearted husband and wife whose sadness overwhelms them as they long for their child who died at birth. The first time author, Eowyn Ivy, paints a picture with words that seem to jump right off of the page bringing you into 1920s Alaska, a wilderness of magical beauty . The author is an expert storyteller, with perfection at spinning a surprising tale of a little girl who will raise the question in your mind, from chapter to chapter, Is she really real or an illusion of a fairy tale?
Middle aged Jack and Mabel planned on creating a new start for themselves byhomesteading in Alaska. The first winter they began to realize that leaving the past sorrow of their child that died might be more difficult than they thought. Consequently, they began to have doubts that at their age they would be able to survive the harsh winters. On the evening of their first snow they decide to build a snow man but it ends up looking like a girl. Both of them feeling giddy, dress their snow girl in a knit hat, scarf and mittens. The next morning the snow girl is mysteriously gone. Later that day they catch glimpses of a little girl dashing through the woods wearing the same apparel as the missing snow girl. This is how Faina, the magical child, comes into the couple's life. Faina is in and out of their lives through the winter and then disappears in the summer, returning the next winter. Mabel feels maternal and gets attached to her while trying to unsuccessfully tame her but Jack realizes that the girl is a child of the snow and knows to let her come and go as she pleases. Jack refers to her, "Like a rainbow trout in a stream, a wild thing glittering in dark water."
This novel spoke to me because my family lived in Anchorage, Alaska for eight years when I was a child. For me, it brought back stirring memories of the dark winters and everlasting sunshine of the summers. It is no surprise that Eowyn Ivy is an Alaska native because it seems that her prose of the land comes straight from her heart. When I leave a novel and the story stays with me I know that I will never forget it and then I realize I have read a piece of work by a truly gifted author. I will be waiting and watching for her next novel.
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.
I enjoy historical fiction, humor, and biographies. I listen to my Audible books as I drive in my car or on my IPhone.
I loved the description of Alaskan terrain and the idea of living there during this era.
The Ice Maiden.
This was a lovely book that just wanders. Even though you have to suspend your disbelief or try to really understand what is happening. It is little odd. Not sure whether it is fantasy or not. But if you just go with the flow it is lovely, like a fairy tale.
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.
Really enjoyed this story about Alaska in the 1920's and the dreams and wishes of a childless couple.
Her variations of each character gave them distinction without seeming forced. Brilliantly done!
Stirs up lots of emotions, depending on your own life experience.
Although I immensely enjoyed the writer's talent, I wish I had a different mindset before beginning this book. You MUST let yourself go into fantastical thinking, wonderment, longing, "fairy tale retold" kind of thinking. If you want a clear ending you'll have to get it from your own creative mind, which you are brilliantly led into by the author. This is what was so interesting about this book. I can't say enough about the writing. It has unique characters that you grow to care about, without actually knowing too many details about them. But they were oh-so relate-able. Loving, letting go, loving again, letting go again...and then another love. It certainly goes beyond flesh and blood. How can anyone endure such emotions? Because the love outweighs the loss.The Emily Dickinson quote (did you find it?) just made my day, as that is one of my all-time favorite quotes. Looking forward to the author's next offering and until then, I made give this another listen.