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The Snow Child

A Novel
Ivey, Eowyn (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Snow Child
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Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. They both deeply long for a child that's now impossible for them to have. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blond-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
Authors: Ivey, Eowyn
Title: The snow child
a novel
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 389 p. ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Eowyn Ivey
Notes: "A Reagan Arthur book."
Summary: Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. They both deeply long for a child that's now impossible for them to have. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blond-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
ISBN: 9780316175678
0316175676
Branch Call Number: FICTION IVEY 2012
Subject Headings: Frontier and pioneer life Alaska Fiction Fairy tales Adaptations Alaska History 1867-1959 Fiction
Genre/Form: Magic realism (Literature)
Topical Term: Frontier and pioneer life
Fairy tales
LCCN: 2011024937
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Library Staff

A childless couple working a homestead in 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own. I loved the information about the Alaskan farm and wilderness as much as the magical element... Read More »

A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own.

Part realistic 1920s Alaskan homesteading story, part fantastical wintery fairytale.

2012. A childless couple working a homestead in 1920s Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own. I loved the magical realism of this, as well as practical details about homesteading.

A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own.


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Jun 20, 2014
  • sasie rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Just a lovely story. I didn't want it to end.

NYPL Staff Pick
In 1920s Alaska, a childless couple builds a girl made of snow who seemingly comes to life.
- Selection Team

May 20, 2014
  • becker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A simple touching story, beautifully told. I can't remember the last time I cared this much about the characters of a book. This will always be one of my favourites

Dec 09, 2013
  • JCLJanineM rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This DeSoto Book Group selection for December stirred some good discussion. It's a remarkably honest look at family and marriage through the eyes of a middleaged couple determined to homestead in the Alaskan wilderness. A marvelous marriage of folk tale and true-to-life fiction that captures the nuances of those who head north for Alaska and stay to make a life.

LOVED THIS BOOK! Such a great book to read in the winter. Grab a cup of tea and let yourself be immersed into this wintery tale. So lovely...

Oct 22, 2013
  • PolarBear92 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This was a wonderfully engaging book, with incredibly descriptive, evocative language. I literally felt cold reading about the Alaska setting! I was always learning about the characters, always shifting my hopes for them, and remained engaged with the unfolding tale. I am still thinking about the ending, wondering if it holds up to the rest of the book - but even when the author chooses the "they all lived happily ever after" route, no fairy tale ever resolves with the emotional satisfaction we hope for. A fabulous book.

"Based on a Russian fairy tale, this debut tells of a childless couple in 1920s Alaska, working a farm and fearing the brutal winter. Anxious, tired, and lonely, they build a snow child, only to find that it has disappeared overnight. But soon they spot a little girl living on her own in the woods - is she homeless? Or is she perhaps a snow fairy? Either way, her appearances hearten the couple. With a spare writing style that enhances vivid descriptions of Alaska's landscape and harsh winters, The Snow Child alluringly adds a bit of magic to hardscrabble farming lives." Fiction A to Z October 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=691547

Aug 13, 2013
  • Rosina rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A beautiful story, part historical fiction part fairy tale, haunting. Mabel and Jack move to Alaska to start over again . Wonderful development of characters. I wanted to shake either of them at different times, then wanted to throw my arms about them. Eowyn paints pictures of the hardship and toil but also at times she portrays a breath taking visual beauty . A book that enlivens all senses, visual, scent, hearing and taste while stirring the emotions.

Jun 14, 2013
  • marcrrussell rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

quiet, moving, spare.... Deeply felt & well- told story. Loved visiting 1920's Alaska. Terrific first effort-

Jun 07, 2013
  • writermala rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

What a poignant tale. "The Snow Child," tells the story of Mabel and Jack who move to Alaska to run away from the grief of losing a child. This is the beginning of a fairy tale like magical book which has to be read to be understood. The magic of their surroundings creates a magic for Jack and Mabel but with this magic comes loss too. The story moves along with twist and turns which grip the reader and one is kept turning pages till the very end.

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Mar 24, 2013
  • becker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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