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The Boy Made of Snow

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  436 ratings  ·  81 reviews
In 1944, in a sleepy English village, Daniel and his emotionally-distant mother, Annabel, remain at home while his father is off fighting a war that seems both omnipresent and very, very far away.

When mother and son befriend Hans, a German PoW working on a nearby farm, their lives are suddenly filled with excitement - though the prisoner comes to mean very different things
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 9th 2017 by Hachette Australia
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
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Charlotte May
"It must have been my mother who planted my seed in me. She was made of ice. And I was made of her. If she was the snow queen, then I was her boy made of snow."

Hm, this was certainly not what I was expecting when I went into this book. From the cover and the title, I was expecting a cute story, granted it is set during WW2 but they are in a small village, and I was imagining a story not unlike The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips. Boy how wrong I was!

2 POV's - Daniel; a 9 year old boy whose
Dec 14, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Just got this.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boy Made of Snow by Chloe Mayer is about a young boy and his lonely and depressed mother that befriend a German prisoner of war during the end of War World II, while the boy's father is away fighting the war.

The young boy and his mother live in a small English village where German POWs thought to be the least dangerous are brought in to conduct labor for the villagers.

The boy and his mother become friendly with a handsome and pleasant German soldier responsible for the clearing of trees
Roman Clodia
"This is not a game, a fairy-tale romance, what we are doing; it's dangerous."

A dark story of what happens when real life gets mixed up with fairy-tales, this reminded me of various literary predecessors: The Go-Between, What Maisie Knew, even Just William (!) for the clash between a child's imagination and the adult world; also Emma Bovary for the woman trapped in a mundane existence who strives to escape.

Set in a small English village in 1944, the person who inhabits the stories of mother and
Karen Mace
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you adore fairy tales then you need this book in your life! And just like fairy tales this is a book with a very dark side that only adds to the impact it has on you when you read it, and I loved every minute spent with these characters in the remote Kent setting.

Told from 2 points of view - a mother and her young son - it is the story of a family set in 1944 so the impact of the War is close by, with the father/husband away for most of the book, and is a fascinating study of how those left
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2017 has been a spectacular year for debut novels, as I look back over the year, so many wonderful debuts stand out for me. Chloe Mayer is certainly one to add to that list. The Boy Made of Snow is exquisitely imagined, beautifully written and I was completely enthralled by it.

This author has taken themes from traditional fairy stories and woven them into a tale set during World War II. Her characters are beautifully created, with so much depth, and realism.

Annabel and her nine-year-old son
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would just like to say that the synopsis for this book is incredibly misleading. However, it definitely was a crazy story and I didn’t see any of what happened coming. It was quite boring at times, but I got through it since it was a pretty short book.
Shaz Goodwin
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Even though Annabel is keeping up outer appearances, inside (both inside the home and her mental health) is a different matter entirely. 9 year old Daniel fends for himself, trying to make the best of the rations with no set mealtimes as well as keeping himself occupied. Having been brought up on fairy tales by Annabel, everything he experiences in life is through that lens. With his dad Reggie absent, fighting the war, whenever he is need of advice or to
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE BOY MADE OF SNOW by Chloë Mayer is a breathtaking, haunting, and heartbreaking story that will stay in your mind long after you turn the last page.

Set in wartime England we meet a young lad, Daniel, and his mother Annabel who are surviving together while Daniel's father is fighting in the war. Annabel has struggled with being a mother from the beginning and cannot show love or affection to Daniel who desperately craves it from her. Their only solid connection is the fairy tales that Annabel
Suze Lavender
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's 1944 and Daniel's father is away from home, fighting against the Germans. Nine-year-old Daniel and his fragile mother Annabel are trying to manage on their own. However, Annabel is suffering too much to be a motherly person. She doesn't keep the house tidy, Daniel often needs to take care of his own meals and Annabel hardly ever checks where he is. The one thing they share though is their love for fairytales. Annabel reads them aloud to Daniel every day. For Daniel it isn't exactly clear ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Boy Made of Snow is a brilliantly written novel by Chloe Mayer.

I picked it up off the shelves from my local bookstore for a friend of mine for Christmas.

It was just staring at me, saying 'Buy Me'.

The snowy cover entranced me...and then it was the actual story of 'The Boy Made of Snow'.

I've had to wait until now to borrow it from my friend who's just finished reading it for Christmas.

When I opened it in the bookstore I found beautiful excerpts from fairytales such as The Snow Queen, Sleeping
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1944 and war is raging across Europe.In the sleepy Kent village of Bambury, nine year old Daniel lives with his mother, Annabelle, his father Reggie away fighting the war. Theirs is a quiet existence,Annabelle living in her own world, increasingly isolated, never having recovered from the birth of Daniel. Daniel is a reflective child, lost in a world of fairy tales, the one thing that brings him close to his mother. Then life changes when the first batch of German POW’s arrive in the village.

Fiona Mitchell
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enchanting and devastating book that will make your throat seize up with dread. There’s a German POW working in the woods in rural Kent during World War Two - cutting down trees for fuel for the villagers. Friendly and with something of the forbidden about him, he’s an intriguing addition to the village where nine-year-old Daniel and his repressed mother Annabel don’t quite fit in. But just what does Hans want from the unsuspecting pair? The story doesn’t pick up pace until about 80 pages in, ...more
Emer (A Little Haze)
Have made it as far as the end of chapter 2 and the choice of first person perspective for the child is really grating on me. I normally don't mind it but there's just something in this author's particular style that does not appeal. So I'm gonna DNF. Sad really. As I do like the nods to the Snow Queen but ultimately I'm not in the mood to persist with something that doesn't capture me from the start.
Katherine Sunderland

The Boy Made of Snow is inspired by the original story of The Snow Queen and each chapter of the novel starts with a quote from a well known fairy tale. I loved taking a moment at the start of each chapter to pause and think about the weight of the quote, it's significance from it's own story and also it's relevance to this novel. Although The Boy Made of Snow is set in 1944, the fairy tales are incredibly relevant to the action and characters and actually Mayer shows how relevant the quotes are
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really atmospheric quite gripping tale
The story is based around a neglected boy during ww2.
I loved the characters even though I didn’t care for the mother. I realise she probably had some mental illness and she couldn’t help her behaviour.
It also throws into light the stiff upper lip attitude towards life during that time, I would hate to return to that way of thinking.
The part of the book when the father visits home for a short time had me choked up.
I thought it was a bit slow at first but
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge-movies
A mother with depression in the 1940's has to hide her condition for fear she'll be locked away in an asylum. She pretends to be normal and she pretends to be a mother to a son she feels no affection for. The boy is becoming warped living in this house with only his mother while his father is away at war.
When they meet a German POW they both project their needs on him.

I don't recommend it. The characters were frustrating. It's depressing and dark. There were some very clever parts though and I
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very different kind of book which I enjoyed tremendously,dark at times and very sad. Well recommended and no hesitation in giving 4 stars
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Beautiful yet desperately sad... Annabel and her son Daniel are two characters I won’t forget any time soon.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, own, books
I loved this! Such an atmospheric and creative way of telling a story. I very highly recommend this book.

For more of my thoughts, I have a video review which can be found here:
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s set in a rural village in England during the time of the Second World War. The book is quintessentially ‘English’ in its charm with its talk of ‘nice’ cups of tea (wonder what a ‘horrid’ cup of tea would taste like?) and use of such words as ‘jolly.’

I like books with only a skeleton crew of characters. This book is one of them. The story focuses on a mother and son who live at the edge of a forest. The village they live in receive some German PoWs, much to the chagrin of a number of
Vicki Turner
Not a book I can recommend. I was attracted to the fairy tale theme supposedly running throughout, especially the Snow Queen, but feels this was almost tacked on as an afterthought. The writing is poor in places and the underdeveloped characters never more than irritating, and some of the content is decidedly grisly.
Written well this could have been a fantastic read - however I don't think I could give this book more than three stars.

The Boy Made of Snow makes use of dual narration, one chapter will be written in third person following the mother, and the other will be written in first person from the perspective of the son. This method was executed poorly by Mayer and often felt repetitive as events were retold presumably to gain a naive perspective from Daniel (the son). The narration by Daniel was
Jan 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A depressing, emotionless and almost psychopathic story with unlovable and unrelatable characters to suit. Written simplistically, as if for children, but with themes children shouldn’t be reading.
Kim Bayne
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rekha Shane
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once upon a time there was a book mired in fairy tales. Each chapter started with a quote, many of them from 'The Snow Queen' by Hans Christen-Anderson.

Chloe Mayer has tuned into a winning formula with her debut novel'The Boy Made of Snow'. There is something about fairy tales that touches our hearts. These stories have been passed from generation to generation for centuries and their inclusion here lent this book a magical quality.

The story is set in 1940's wartime Britain and alternates
Juliet Bookliterati
The Boy Made of Snow is Chloe Mayer's debut novel, and a very accomplished one. Inspired by the fairy tale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, with quotes from the book as chapter headings, this book has the essence and feel of a fairytale itself. It is beautifully written, ambitious novel with a haunting plot line that will draw you in.

The book is narrated by Annabel and her nine year old son, Daniel, in alternating chapters. This is clever literary device as it gives the reader the two
Cătălina Vrabie
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh boy what a book.

After I finished it, I went ahead and read the other reviews because I was curious about how others perceived it. I will agree with most of them that it is a dark tale indeed and while I wasn't too excited about it for the first 1/3 of the story, let's say, I slowly became so immersed into it that I couldn't put it down.

My main problem with the book was the character of Annabel. It is clear from the very start she suffered from post-partum depression which she never quite
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Not sure what to make of this one: it's very readable but I got increasingly irritated by it as it went on. It's one of those books that peaks at the end of Act 2 and then the final Act is just mopping up the pieces, explaining plotpoints and telling you how they lived after that.

Set in 1944, it's about nine year old Daniel and his mother Annabel who live in a quiet English village. His father has been away fighting in the War for over three years. Annabel is very detached from her son; it
Dearna (Words of the Roses)
For my full review :

‘I looked at the sunbeams, hoping to see the constellations inside them, but there was nothing there but dust in the air.’

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

I adore this book, which was a big surprise for me since I’m not a fan of WWII fiction. But Mayer’s writing is stunning. I found myself slowing my reading pace and rereading paragraphs just so I could
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