Favorite Quote: “In my old age, I see that life itself is often more fantastic and terrible than the stories we believed as children, and that perhaps there is no harm in finding magic among the trees.”
Rating: 4/4 Stars
Title: The Snow Child
Author: Eowyn Ivey
After years of trying to conceive a child, what would you do to cope? What would you do if your spouse has become a total stranger, someone who you can no longer look in the eye or talk to? Rather than giving up, Mabel and Jack choose to escape to a homestead in Alaska. While the going has been tough, with the approach of their second winter, the couple has begun to find a happier place. During the first snow of the season, they decide to build a snow child. Within the next couple of weeks the couple comes face to face with a little girl, Faina, one that Mabel believes is their snow child come to life. They do not know how she survives the blistering cold, but the childless couple grows to love Faina as if she were their own. It is with the arrival of Faina that teaches them all something about their inner selves.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a spin off from a class fairy tale The Snow Child and Little Daughter of the Snow. I found it very interesting how the author managed to put a different twist to the events to make the story her own. I also liked how the author managed to use a setting and landscape that she was very familiar with. As one raised in Alaska, it was clear that the author was familiar with the terrain. You felt that there was a part of her in the writing, which simply made the writing more enjoyable.
While it is not something I have struggled with, I felt that this story highlighted a problem that many couples have. The inability to have a child or experiencing a miscarriage can be truly painful for a couple, even tearing them apart. In the beginning of the story you can see that the couple are struggling to stay together. Due to the time period, divorce was likely not a option, but the couple were unable to communicate effectively. It was with the appearance of Faina that you begin to see their relationship begin to mend. They were able to fill the hole in their hearts that they needed to be whole again.
I often had to remind myself of the time period. In the 1920’s there were standards for both men and women. I unfortunately found that I did not like Mabel or Jack. I often found her behavior annoying and Jack to be insensitive and bullheaded. I often found that I preferred their neighbors Esther and George. They were less conventional and entertaining. As I began to this about the book, I believe that this was done on purpose. Esther and George were the opposite of Mabel and Jack to show their struggle and where they had room for improvement.
All in all, I found this book very entertaining. It was perfect for this past weekend. With the chill setting in and rainy weather, it was great to curl up on the couch with this book. It kept my interest from beginning to end. Due to the familiarity with the story, I was expecting a different ending, but as stated above, I liked that the ending was original and unexpected. I would definitely recommend this book.