A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on making a fresh start for themselves in a homestead 'at the world's edge' in the raw Alaska 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 pair is surprised to find they 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? Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy-tale from which it takes its inspiration, THE SNOW CHILD is an instant classic - the story of a couple who take a child into their hearts, all the while knowing they can never truly call her their own.
©2012 Eowyn Ivey (P)2012 Headline Digital
"This book is real magic, shot through from cover to cover with the cold, wild beauty of the Alaskan frontier. Eowyn Ivey writes with all the captivating delicacy of the snowfalls she so beautifully describes." (Ali Shaw, author of THE GIRL WITH GLASS FEET)
"If Willa Cather and Gabriel Garcia Marquez had collaborated on a book, THE SNOW CHILD would be it." (Robert Goolrick, author of A RELIABLE WIFE)
"Eowyn Ivey's prose brings the chilly northern wilderness to life." (Bookseller)
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Beautiful beautiful book. I'm not much interested in fairytales, magical realism or stories about people who may or may not exist but nevertheless I was drawn to this book even though it seemed this might be the case. I'm so glad I did not let it put me off. I fell in love with the characters. Its one of those books that leave a grief shaped hole in your life when you finish as you don't want your relationship with the people in the book to end, there has been such pleasure having them in your life that you want them there forever. Ditto the landscape which is like a character too, and one I wanted to go on relating to. Highly recommended.
I love the way this story weaves a fairytale into real life and leaves you to make up your own mind which it is. The narrator's characterisation is good and each figure is instantly recognisable when she speaks their words. I thought it was a beautiful story and I didn't want it to end.
I'm a visual artist, and this novel was an inspiration to me. The visuals of snowy peaks, ethereal creatures, and crystaline ice were spectacular. The characters were also likeable and relatable. You're transported into the wilderness of Alaska.
"Beautiful but slow..."
This is a difficult book to review as it's simply not the kind of book which I would usually be enthusiastic about. You might wonder why I picked it as my Audible download of the month, in that case, right? Well, the blurb intrigued me and the cover enchanted me. I had hopes of a haunting narrative, evocative of old, dark fairy tales. What I got was something different.
Ivey creates a phenomenally beautiful sense of place and it is evident that she is intimately familiar with the Alaskan wilderness she describes. The detail given to the surroundings was definitely my favourite aspect of the story. However, I felt that the characters weren't nearly as vivid. I have a suspicion that Ivey did this deliberately as the lack of colour given to either Jack or Mabel was indicative of their ailing relationship.
This is one of those books which is going to get four or five stars from a whole bunch of reviewers. It's beautifully written... but in my opinion, it was also slow. Actually, it goes further than that; I think it was dull.
I am definitely in the minority. This book has an average Goodreads rating of 4.06 out of 5 and it is highly praised in the reader reviews there. It is described as “gorgeous” and “magic” and “heartbreakingly beautiful”. While I do agree with these sentiments on some level, I prefer books with a bit more pace and action.
This is a nice book, it's just not my cup of tea. Therefore, I'm going to give The Snow Child three stars.
I found this book that i liked it more from hindsight, while i was listening to it it was a bit sad and deppressing, but has got a clever and interesting story that makes you think. the characters are well formed and you really get a sense of alaska.
the narrator was good, suited the story if at times sounded like she could do with a drink.
"A different take on a fairy tale."
Quaint story, a veritable 'modern' fairy story. Held my interest. Interesting insight into the hardship experienced by the early settlers in Alaska. Well worth the listen.
"A gorgeous story beautifully read."
I loved this story. It really caught my imagination and the narrator really helped to set the mood. Very much in the style of a traditional/fairy story with an added dimension. Well worth a listen.
"Review of The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey"
After a slow start this book turned out to be a really enjoyable read. Interesting story about the the hardships and joys endured in the sometimes inhospitable Alaska. Would recommend this to my friends.
"Poetic and epic"
I loved this book, it is a simple story, there's no big surprises, but the characterisation was beautiful, and the description of the setting in Alaska was filmic and complete. It was an audiobook that I loved coming back to, to lose myself in, like a brilliant old movie.
Absolutely magical. I loved the descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness and way of life, interwoven with the magic of a fairytale and the mystery of whether The Child is really of this world. A simple story beautifully told.
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