Julie asked:

Maybe some of you addressed this in your comments, but why did the author choose not to use quotation marks during the spoken sections with the snow child (I'm not using the name so as not to spoil the book for others)? I think it was a purposeful decision as she chose to use them during spoken sections with other characters. Was it because of the snow-child's fairy-tale like nature? Any ideas are appreciated!

To answer questions about The Snow Child, please sign up.
Morgan Barton My friend and I were actually able to get in contact with the author regarding this question. She said that she wanted Faina to have a sense of "otherworldly-ness" to set her apart and allow her character to be looked at in a fairytale and "perfect" sense.
Holly I noticed that, too, Sue. For me, it added to the spirit-like nature of Faina. Especially early on in the story, it made me wonder, "Is a little girl actually speaking or is this all in Mable and Jack's minds?" And I thought this device made the child's voice more akin to the wind or the sound of the ice breaking on the river or the howl of wolves than to a human voice. Lovely story!
Annie Because she can't make up her mind whether Faina is real or not, and this is a serious problem with the book. The author is trying to have it both ways, but at a certain point, we need to know. Is everyone having an hallucination? This was a major problem for me, as was the very pedestrian story-telling and mediocre prose.
Desi I felt like it was done to add to the fairy-tale like quality of the moments with a snow child, like she was there, but not really there.

For me it added a dreamy like quality to the scenes with her.
Kind of like how sounds are muffled when it snows.

Dina Roberts I loved that the author did this. I'm often annoyed by a lack of quotation marks. But since the author did it only-part time here, and for a specific reason, I thought it was a great choice.

I love other people's answers here: "dreamy like quality" "fairy-tale like nature", "bated read and they almost believe they'll blink and she's gone".
Elizabeth Letourneau I think it may the flow of the speech clearer. Because the way that every time someone speaks with her it's with bated breath and they almost believe they'll blink and she's gone. Also that they wait so anxiously of ruer to come, speaking with her is like finally exhaling when she arrives.
Maybe? what do you think?
Amy Sandridge Well noticed. I did notice something but I didn't study it closely enough to think about it.

What did you think about the ending? It deeply disappointed me.
Janet I listened to this book and was unaware of the quotation marks. Now that I am aware of the technique used, it makes me wonder if Faina did exist as a young child.
Christy This drove me crazy and made it hard to follow.
Sam Denniss Never even noticed, I guess that's how I read books!
Lois I didn't care for it, it felt inconsistent and makes it harder to follow the conversation. And I noticed at least one other section where they left off the quotation marks, and it didn't involve the snow child.
Denise K. I just talked about this very thing in my review! I felt that Ivey did this to show that conversations with the Snow Child were not real.
Image for The Snow Child
by Eowyn Ivey (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more