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The Snow Child: A Novel Paperback – Nov 6 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books (Nov. 6 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316175661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316175661
  • ASIN: 0316175668
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Len TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 22 2012
Format: Hardcover
Our capacity for the suspension of disbelief is amazing. I was captivated by this retelling of 'The Snow Child' that takes place in the wilds of Alaska during the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have plans to homestead after reaching their fifth decade. Both have desperately wanted children but sadly, Mabel hasn't been able to conceive after losing her first child to a premature birth. They hope Alaska can reinvigorate their lives and their marriage. Unfortunately, the physical demands required to clear the land for farming seem too much for an aging Jack. It's beginning to look like Jack's only option to earn money to support himself and his wife when, late in October, following the first snowfall, the couple are captivated by the joy of the season, throw snowballs and build a snowman. They add hair made of straw and Jack carves a face and dress which turns their snowman to a snow girl. The next morning, the mitts and hat they used to clothe their snow child are gone. In their place are footprints that leave the spot of their disappearance without complementary ones leading to it. Not being a fan of fantasy literature, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Even as the ending becomes obvious, I found myself still reading, still wondering what's going to happen next. Ms. Ivey's descriptions of Alaska capture its ruggedness and closeness to nature. Her characterizations of pioneers totally dependent on the largess of their neighbours realistic and uplifting. Well worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ken Wilson on July 12 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very moving reprise of a Russian folk tale, told with sensitivity, significant insight, and good old fashioned story telling. The snow child is a fantasy, or is she. A couples love and longing make it a possibility as they adjust to homesteading in the Alaska wilderness of the early 1900s. Written so well that you want it to be true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Mead on July 17 2013
Format: Paperback
It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader of folktales. At home, my shelves are full of new and old versions of Brothers Grimm and countless anthologies of Irish and English tales. So when I heard about “The Snow Child,” I knew that this was a book I had to read. What makes Eowyn Ivey’s “The Snow Child” charming is its ability to retain the old world feel of a classic fairy story while also connecting her characters and setting to a modern reality.

Everything about “The Snow Child” is exciting and magical, particularly because it is set in the Alaskan wilderness of the 1920’s. Ivey captures the landscape perfectly with her precise yet delicate prose and despite the bleak setting, the world that she draws readers into is magical. Magic is everywhere in this story: in the first snowfall, in the animals who visit Jack and Mabel and in the people that they meet. Although the basis for this story is built around a Russian fairytale, Ivey does an excellent job of leading the reader into the magic of the story gradually. For most of the book I found myself wondering whether Faina, the snow child, was truly magical or whether Jack and Mabel were in fact going crazy. The subtlety in which Ivey introduces us to Faina and her strange existence creates a sort of mystery that beguiles the reader and keeps them wanting to know the truth.

While I am not usually drawn to tragic stories—and this one has an element of tragedy that is apparent from the beginning—Ivey drew me in regardless with her knack for creating whimsy. When we first meet Jack and Mabel, their farm is failing, they are starving and it seems as though there is no hope for them in the wilderness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SueZ on Jan. 28 2013
Format: Library Binding
I wasn't sure what to expect and went into this with an open mind. I am glad to have read this book. You have the realities of Alaska's harsh climate (in the 20s) and the struggles of a long married couple, wonderful friendships and bonds, plus a little bit of 'magic'.
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