Watched the movie June 9 2015- incredibly beautiful, powerful film. Would like to hear more of Robyn's thoughts before, during and after her journey.Watched the movie June 9 2015- incredibly beautiful, powerful film. Would like to hear more of Robyn's thoughts before, during and after her journey. She's impressively broken emotionally. I'm sure her personal account fleshes her out more broadly....more
I'm particularly disturbed by "the vigilant rabbit". Oh, and the alcoholic cat. And the hippo-asshole-exploration story.
"The chicken had never thoughtI'm particularly disturbed by "the vigilant rabbit". Oh, and the alcoholic cat. And the hippo-asshole-exploration story.
"The chicken had never thought about it this way and supposed the hen had a point. Though a missing eye was certainly nothing to be proud of, neither was it a reason to feel particularly ashamed. 'We've all got our little quirks,' the guinea hen offered. 'Some are visible, and others are on the inside, where no one can see them. Me, for instance, I'm super compassionate, was born that way, I suppose. If I see someone suffering, it just bothers the heck out of me, no matter who it is. This worm, for example, got bitten by a centipede, and I just sat up half the night, comforting him until he died.'"
"'I said to the guy, 'Listen. There's not a male rat in the history of the world who's given his child so much as a cigarette butt, and don't try to tell me otherwise. In fact,' he went on, 'from what I hear, any baby of yours has a better chance of being eaten by you than fed by you.' 'True enough,' the rat admitted. His body relaxed beneath my talons, and I felt his hope leak onto the asphalt, as surely as if it were blood or urine.'"...more
There is actually very little that I can say about this book - you just have to read it! It's one of those books that swoops you up after the first feThere is actually very little that I can say about this book - you just have to read it! It's one of those books that swoops you up after the first few chapters and won't put you back down into your life until you find out what happens.
It is reminiscent for me of the great classics like La Casa de Los Espiritus or Eva Luna - magical realism is what I've seen some of you classify it as, and I think that's a great description. I remember being equally passionate about those novels in both English and Spanish when I was younger..
The first couple of chapters were just so-so, and I wasn't convinced I was going to finish it. Then...something happened...and I could think of little else than the plight of these people hacking out a living in the Alaskan wilderness. While standing on hot bricks waiting for my bus home on a sunny 90+ degree day, I could smell snow, icy waterfalls, birch and aspen bark, wet stones, fresh cut firewood, and the smoke from wood fires. Just the descriptions of the place brought me some of the peace that is so palpable after a heavy snowfall, and which I have experienced only rarely since leaving behind my childhood as a New Englander for the southeast.
A few years ago I met a really neat lady who lived in Juneau, and had offered to let me come out and stay with her. I regret, now, losing touch with her - in fact, I can't even remember how or where I met her, which is disappointing to say the least. I think it was some meditation retreat or other, but who knows? Ah well, for now I feel somewhat appeased after reading this book, and I know Alaska adventures will be out there waiting. There's also British Columbia (Vancouver!) and the parks and shorelines north of Seattle that I didn't get to see on any of my PNW trips, that are there, hanging out on my bucket list, waiting for a time when I'll have a chance to take some epic road trips.
It's hard to write this, but really, NOT MUCH HAPPENS in this book. It's not an action-adventure flick, so all you murder and mayhem junkies, look elsewhere for your fix. This book is quiet, insidious (is there a word that means the same but has a more positive connotation?), and will get under your skin. The descriptions are amazing, yet not at all overwrought.
Case in point, page 99: "The girl's hair was white-blond, but when Mabel studied it, she saw that woven and twisted among the strands were gray-green lichens, wild yellow grasses, and curled bits of birch bark. It was strange and lovely, like a wild bird's nest." Beautiful description, right?
Imagery is such an integral part of the story, and later, even brushing of hair becomes so incredibly symbolic that it can make you tear up a little. So pay attention.
A favorite quote, from page 258: "Dear, sweet Mabel," she said. "We never know what is going to happen, do we? Life is always throwing us this way and that. That's where the adventure is. Not knowing where you'll end up or how you'll fare. It's all a mystery, and when we say any different, we're just lying to ourselves. Tell me, when have you felt most alive?" - epic chapter ending, IMO.
Page 204: You did not have to understand miracles to believe in them, and in fact Mabel had come to suspect the opposite. To believe, perhaps you had to cease looking for explanations and instead hold the little thing in your hands as long as you were able before it slipped like water between your fingers.
I can say in all honesty that this book at once broke my heart and mended it back, and that's a very rare gift indeed. Read. This. Book. Then tell me what you thought of it.
Other quotes (so many beauts!): “To believe, perhaps you had to cease looking for explanations and instead hold the little thing in your hands as long as your were able before it slipped like water between your fingers.” ― Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child
“She had watched other women with infants and eventually understood what she craved: the boundless permission-no, the absolute necessity- to hold and kiss and stroke this tiny person. Cradling a swaddled infant in their arms, mothers would distractedly touch their lips to their babies' foreheads. Passing their toddlers in a hall, mothers would tousle their hair even sweep them up in their arms and kiss them hard along their chins and necks until the children squealed with glee. Where else in life, Mabel wondered, could a woman love so openly and with such abandon?” ― Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child
“We are allowed to do that, are we not Mabel? To invent our own endings and choose joy over sorrow?” ― Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child
“It was beautiful, Mabel knew, but it was a beauty that ripped you open and scored you clean so that you were left helpless and exposed, if you lived at all.” ― Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child
“She could not fathom the hexagonal miracle of snowflakes formed from clouds, crystallized fern and feather that tumble down to light on a coat sleeve, white stars melting even as they strike. How did such force and beauty come to be in something so small and fleeting and unknowable? You did not have to understand miracles to believe in them, and in fact Mabel had come to suspect the opposite. To believe, perhaps you had to cease looking for explanations and instead hold the little thing in your hands as long as you were able before it slipped like water between your fingers."
“All her life she had believed in something more, in the mystery that shape-shifted at the edge of her senses. It was the flutter of moth wings on glass and the promise of river nymphs in the dappled creek beds. It was the smell of oak trees on the summer evening she fell in love, and the way dawn threw itself across the cow pond and turned the water to light.” ― Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child...more