Debut novelist Eowyn ivey’s experience living in the Alaskan wilderness brings a palpable authenticity to The Snow Child. Alaska in the 1920s is a difficult place for Jack and Mabel. Drifting apart, the childless couple discover Faina, a young girl living alone in the wilderness. Soon, Jack and Mabel come to love Faina as their own. But when they learn a surprising truth about the girl, their lives change in profound ways.
©2012 Eowyn Ivey (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
The first half of the story was intriguing but it turns into a sappy romance novel for the entire second half which is not what the description implied. It was also poorly edited and the author could have told the same story in half the time/words.
This was my first audible book and I really enjoyed it. Debra Monk did a fantastic job narrating, her voice fit the story perfectly. The story was very well written and Eowyn Ivey's description of Alaska is amazing. I live in Soldotna, Alaska and every description of the seasons and the landscape really made me appreciate where I live. I thought it was a fantastic book and I would recommend it to anyone.
Esther- she was so light hearted and really warmed the story up.
Esther- Monk did a great job of bringing her personality to life.
I looked forward to listening every morning and I truly did enjoy it.
I should probably begin this review by stating that I am not a fan of fantasy, and this novel is a hybrid of fantasy and historical fiction. It takes place in Alaska in the 1920s. Jack and Mabel, an aging childless couple, are newly arrived homesteaders. It was Mabel's idea to move to the northwest: she had lost a baby years earlier and was finding it increasingly difficult to be around their extended families. Rather than finding the wilderness lonely, she cherished the solitude and is rather surprised to find herself befriending their nearest neighbors, the Bensons.
The book gives a pretty good portrait of the hard life of homesteaders . . . but then it takes off towards fantasy. One night, following a playful snowball fight, Jack and Mabel make a little girl out of snow. Mabel is touched by the beautiful face that Jack has carved, and she provides mittens and a scarf to finish their snow child. When Jack rises the next morning, the mittens and scarf are gone, and he thinks he sees a little girl with a red fox at the edge of the tree.
At this point, Ivey's novel becomes a riff on a Russian folk tale, one that Mabel remembers hearing as a child, and the reader--like Mabel and Jack--can't quite determine if the girl is a real child or some kind of mystical being. Signs point in both directions.
I started out liking the homesteading story, and the descriptions of the landscape were quite lovely. But after awhile, Mabel got on my nerves. I can't quite explain why, except that she seemed at times to be naïve, bordering on stupid. And several of the other characters--like Esther, the resourceful, hearty, trousers-wearing Mrs. Benson--seemed like stereotypes to me. Since I am not fond of fantasy, I found that element more irritating than charming. Put me in the camp of those who did not care for the ambiguous ending.
I saw this book recommended in several places, but I didn’t think a snow-girl that comes to life would keep my attention. I’m glad I gave it a try! Beautiful writing and imagery, and a very good character study. This book did such a respectful job of creating a story from an old Russian fairy tale. I loved the friendship between the two Alaskan couples. Highly recommend.
As the other reviewers have stated this was a beautifully written book. The imagery took me there. The development of the couple (the main characters) was very good and so consistent, I felt like I really got to know them. The "neighbors" characters also were so well done.
The idea of the book is to keep you unsure as the characters in the book are unsure. However, I wanted just a little bit more about the snow child herself for me to care about her. She was vaguely interesting, and there were moments when the author almost had me loving her, but the depth of her development was never quite there. She didn't haunt me and I wanted to be haunted by her.
For a debut novel, I think Eowyn Ivey did a great job in writing “The Snow Child.” My dissatisfaction, however, is that I wished it could have stayed a fairy tale throughout.
I liked all of the characters that were developed in the story. I liked the Alaska setting especially. I just did not like the ending of the story. I see, however, that other readers loved the entire story. In my opinion, it would have been a much better novel if it had stayed a fairy tale!
The narrator, Debra Monk, did an excellent job.
I will not hesitate to read another book by Eowyn Ivey, however, I hope that she will write something other than a fairy tale.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Loved the feel and easy pace of the narrator. All the characters felt like you could have lived there and known them.
The story is sweet, touching and just enough of the "out of the ordinary" but not too far out.
The writing is beautifully crafted - a refreshing "read."
Worth the credit and I would look for more from this author.
But oh my goodness I am so glad I did. I was hesitant because I thought it would be more of a child's book. I was so wrong. This is a beautiful written and narrated story. It's about a
couple eking out a life in the frozen extremes of Alaska in the 1920's. Their excruciating sadness at the loss of their own premature baby and the magical appearance of another child. One that seems to have sprung from their hopes and dreams. The narrator has a beautiful patient voice that harmonizes with the gentle but intense story. You'll love this book. Im very partial to action packed mysteries and thrillers but was captivated from the very beginning. I can't wait to see what this author writes next. Ill be waiting…..
Tell us about yourself!I am an avid reader but enjoy listening while waking to work, ironing, doing dishes, etc. Listening to novels is an entirely different experience than reading; a well narrated story is a cross between drama and written fiction. Listening to books on Audible has been a wonderful experience.
The story and the setting were interesting and kept me coming back daily however it was too far-fetched in the end to be anything other than fantasy. Fantasy is ok but not my favorite genre.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
A wonderful love story of a couple who have been desperately trying to have children with no results. After a heartbreaking miscarriage they move from Pennsylvania to Alaska where life is always a challenge just to stay warm and fed through the rough winters. One day when their depression appears to be beyond repair, the first snowstorm of the season starts. In a bizarre moment they find themselves consumed by their inner-child and a playful snowball fight ensues, as the fun and joy continues they decide to build a snowman, when it is finished they both realize that it looks strangely more like a beautiful young girl than a snowman. The next morning the clothes they adorned it with are gone and in the following days, to their disbelief, they start to see a young, blonde girl wearing them. She is timid and continues to skirt around them for many days like a scared animal. Eventually a relationship starts to blossom out of the consistency of unlimited trust. As time goes by they begin to notice that she only appears when it becomes cold and then disappears in the beginning of Spring. They also discover that they alone are the only ones that she will allow to see her or her companion, an illusive fox.
As the years pass hardships and blessings surround our couple as they strive to farm and emotionally flourish in the rugged Alaskan country. Thank goodness for the help and friendship offered up so freely by their salt of the earth, seasoned neighbor family. Over time a wonderful lasting bond grows that takes them all well beyond friendship.
Other reviewers have all had different opinions of the ending. I thought it was solid and beautiful. True characters, wonderful narration, the life of an old fairy tale, hope, faith, unpredictability, and love are all elements of this wonderful listen.
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