Lisa Ard's Reviews > The Snow Child

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
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Jul 17, 12

Read in July, 2012

It's been awhile since I sat down and read a book straight through. It takes time and a special kind of book -- this is one of those. In this lovely fairy-tale-like story, the reader sees the depth of love, sorrow, and belief.

Jack and Mabel are homesteaders in 1920's Alaska. Already in their 50's they are tired and weary and drifting apart. Jack bears the brunt of the workload, trying to tame the wild land. Mabel is isolated and melancholy, left to her memories of their one child she carried and lost. But, with the first snowfall, the couple playfully build a snowman in the image of a young girl. In the morning she is gone. Soon a child appears in the forest, a creature of winter with inexplicable ways. As the older couple come to love the young girl, they will also rediscover their love for one another.

Ivey has created a magical story that introduces mystery at every step. Is the child magical, from a fairy tale, or is she the orphan of a Russian trapper? Ivey's description is tender and lovely, like this passage, where she describes the couple: "the two of them looked at each other across the distance, each in their pocket of light, snow like a falling veil between them. Mabel couldn't remember the last time they had so deliberately gazed at each other, and the moment was like the snow, slow and drifting."
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