The Snow Child

The Snow Child

A Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
45
2
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316175661
9780316175678
0316175676
Branch Call Number: FICTION IVEY 2012
Characteristics: 389 p. ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920s 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.

Join the discussion on December 20, 2016. Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow chi... Read More »

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, and Ivey uses beautiful language to d... Read More »

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.


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

t
tenwen
Mar 28, 2017

I usually really like historical fiction, but I found this book to be pretty boring. I did like the magical aspects, but not enough to impress me.

a
Amy_50
Mar 26, 2017

Beautiful prose. The writing takes you to 1920s Alaskan wilderness. HIstorical fiction and magical realism are two of my favorite genres, and this novel has both. Loved it!

l
lrsranch
Jan 16, 2017

This was a beautiful story...loved every second of reading it. One of my favorite books of all time. I will buy a copy for myself from Amazon so I can read again and again.

k
ksully1
Jan 07, 2017

A magical wintery tale that keeps the reader guessing about what is real and what is fantasy.

m
mcdoff
Sep 22, 2016

Arlene suggested

j
Jacchabot
Jun 28, 2016

I loved this book.

t
TeresaWBrown
Jun 26, 2016

A tale from all the cultures that live half the year in the dark and cold, this one from Northern Alaska. Mable and Jack, an older couple who left their life and families in the East to make a new life after losing their only child. Mable's walk across the frozen river was haunting and their Snow Child as a nether world character. Very well written and excellent read.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

For three quarters of its length The Snow Child is nearly a perfect read. The story of a girl made from snow unravels at a slow pace, necessary for the gradual unfolding that makes the novel so exquisite. Ivey skillfully interweaves the grace of the snow child with the textures of an untamed Alaskan wilderness. The story is most affective in its simple subtlety; through Ivey possesses a way with words, she lets the beauty of the story speak for itself. The story mirrors its subject. It is the sort of tale one wishes to get lost in, to dance in its mystery and to catch on one's tongue.

The last eighty pages or so of The Snow Child loses some of these qualities. It's jarring, largely unmagical, and cold, which could all potentially work if it felt like the coming of a blizzard, but it feels more like a mudslide. By no means is this part of the novel bad, it just loses so much of what made the rest of the book fabulous. I loved these characters and I felt like they really deserved a much better ending. There is so much that could have been done with such a lovely story that anything but the best is a letdown.

It is hard to drop this book from five stars because it is really good. Really good. It just didn't quite reach its full potential. When The Snow Child is at its best, however, it is really that good.

a
Alena_C
Mar 16, 2016

The Snow Child is simply breathtaking. The prose is at once both lyrical and delicate, and energetic and vivid. The juxtaposition of realistic harsh Alaskan wilderness and dreamlike fantasy works beautifully. A haunting story scattered with pockets of joy and hope that will certainly linger with readers long after.

k
kcfs2009
Mar 14, 2016

I've seen the creative works of various authors tackle fairy tales in their own way. But I've never seen any of them do it like Eowyn Ivery. I wanted to ask artists and writers the other day, "What does it take to make a great fairy tale?" I suppose I got quite an example.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MCL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top