Mary's Reviews > The Snow Child

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
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May 30, 12

Read in May, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Ambitious but failed effort to retell the story of a snow child that comes to life. I enjoyed Ivey's writing, but the plot was just not under her control. Magical children who can summon up blizzards and wild animals aren't the same as wilderness savants who can survive on their skills as hunters and gatherers. Magical realism assumes a dimension of magic in the real world; this book makes a clumsy effort to hybridize the two.

The would-be parents of the Snow Child were in some ways well-drawn, in that the husband, especially, responded in recognizable, flawed ways to his wife's inability to come to terms with her childlessness, and her loss of the one child she bore. But I found them both to be inconsistent within themselves; the characters didn't so much develop as lurch.

It's possible that, as a single woman with no children, I found it hard to sympathize with Mabel's utter emotional devastation, which opens the book. But as far as I can tell, I just found her obsessive devastation, combined with the way it led her to Alaska, unconvincing. The part I liked best was how, through her art and storytelling, Mabel was able to reunite with the family she'd left behind.
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