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The Snow Child
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June 2018: Magical Realism > The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey - 4 Stars

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Be prepared to have your heartstrings pulled in this emotional story of love and loss. The characters in this book are not only well-developed, but the author has a magical way of luring the reader to bond with the characters.

Inspired by an old Russian fairytale, The Snow Child is the story of Mabel and Jack, a middle-aged childless couple who move to the Alaskan wilderness in 1920. They are trying to escape their grief over a stillborn child and the heartache of not having children. The brutal Alaskan winters take a physical and mental toll on the couple and their marriage. Early in the book the grief and loneliness drive Mabel to suicide, but fortunately she is not successful.

Then, on the first snowfall of the year, Mabel and Jack find a brief moment of shared happiness and make a snow figure of a child together. The next morning they discover that the snow child is gone but they glimpse a young girl running and hiding in the woods wearing the scarf and mittens they had put on the snow child. They have been given a daughter who, in a play on the old fairy tale, may or may not have been created by the power of their own imaginations. This question lingers for a good part of the book, but is clarified later in the story.

The author, who is a native of Alaska, does an excellent job portraying the Alaskan wilderness, the extreme weather, and the difficulty of living off the land. You can almost feel the pain in your body from the hardships of farming, chopping wood, plowing, and surviving some of the harshest conditions that still exist today in the frontier.

The Snow Child is an unusual story which some readers may even find depressing as it navigates between stark realism and an ambiguous mysticism. But ultimately, The Snow Child touched my heart.


JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Great review, so glad you enjoyed this book!


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9364 comments Streaks still running strong!


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6400 comments I also loved this fable for adults.


LibraryCin | 9071 comments I really enjoyed this, as well!


annapi | 5159 comments Loved this too!


Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments Me too! 5 stars and a heart (back when we could do that).


message 8: by KateNZ (new) - added it

KateNZ | 2671 comments This sounds beautiful - thanks for the lovely review


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Barbara wrote: "Me too! 5 stars and a heart (back when we could do that)."

I just loved it!! I didn't know you could add a heart in the past!! That is so great.


message 10: by Book Concierge (last edited Jun 22, 2018 06:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6400 comments You can still add a ❤ ..... type the following with NO spaces

& # 1 0 0 8 4

Of course ... it doesn't show in your rating, but it will show up in your review / comments.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Amy wrote: "Streaks still running strong!"

It is and so far I am loving Golem and the Jinni.


message 12: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9364 comments I consider myself your personal muse! I am cherishing this role, and it’s so much fun watching you read so many of my best loved reads.


Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments Rachel wrote: "Amy wrote: "Streaks still running strong!"

It is and so far I am loving Golem and the Jinni."


Another of my all-time favorites.


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