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The Snow Child: A Novel Hardcover – Feb 1 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; 1 edition (Feb. 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316175678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316175678
  • ASIN: 0316175676
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #267,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"If Willa Cather and Gabriel Garcia Marquez had collaborated on a book, THE SNOW CHILD would be it. It is a remarkable accomplishment -- a combination of the most delicate, ethereal, fairytale magic and the harsh realities of homesteading in the Alaskan wilderness in 1918. Stunningly conceived, beautifully told, this story has the intricate fragility of a snowflake and the natural honesty of the dirt beneath your feet, the unnerving reality of a dream in the night. It fascinates, it touches the heart. It gallops along even as it takes time to pause at the wonder of life and the world in which we live. And it will stir you up and stay with you for a long, long time."―Robert Goolrick, New York Times bestselling author of A Reliable Wife

"THE SNOW CHILD is enchanting from beginning to end. Ivey breathes life into an old tale and makes it as fresh as the season' s first snow. Simply lovely."―Keith Donohue, New York Times bestselling author of The Stolen Child

"A transporting tale . . . an amazing achievement."―Sena Jeter Naslund, New York Times bestselling author of Ahab's Wife

"THE SNOW CHILD is a vivid story of isolation and hope on the Alaska frontier, a narrative of struggle with the elements and the elemental conflict between one's inner demons and dreams, and the miracle of human connection and community in a spectacular, dangerous world. You will not soon forget this story of learning to accept the gifts that fate and love can bring." Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek

"Eowyn Ivey's exquisite debut transports the reader away to a world almost out of time, into a fairytale destined to both chill and delight. Her portrayal of an untamed Alaska is so detailed you can feel the snowflakes on your own eyelashes, even as her characters' desperate quest for, and ultimate redemption by, love will warm your heart."―Melanie Benjamin, author of Alice I Have Been

"Magical, yes, but THE SNOW CHILD is also satisfyingly realistic in its depiction of 1920s homestead-era Alaska and the people who settled there, including an older couple bound together by resilient love. Eowyn Ivey's poignant debut novel grabbed me from the very first pages and made me wish we had more genre-defying Alaska novels like this one. Inspired by a fairy tale, it nonetheless contains more depth and truth than so many books set in this land of extremes."―Andromeda Romano-Lax, author of The Spanish Bow

"This book is real magic, shot through from cover to cover with the cold, wild beauty of the Alaskan frontier. Eowyn Ivey writes with all the captivating delicacy of the snowfalls she so beautifully describes."―Ali Shaw, author of The Girl with Glass Feet

About the Author

Eowyn LeMay Ivey was raised in Alaska and continues to live there with her husband and two daughters. She received her BA in journalism and minor in creative writing through the honors program at Western Washington University, studied creative nonfiction at the University of Alaska Anchorage graduate program, and worked for nearly 10 years as an award-winning reporter at the Frontiersman newspaper. This is her first novel.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Len TOP 500 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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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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Format: Paperback
Based on the Russian fairytale, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey begins as a deceptively simple tale, but becomes more complex and compelling as the novel progresses. Mabel and Jack, homesteaders in the Alaskan wilderness, see a child flitting through the forest. Believing at first that she can’t possibly be real, that what they see is some other forest creature, Mabel and Jack eventually entice her into their cabin and into their lives. The girl is linked to winter, joining Mabel and Jack during the winters, leaving again every spring for the snow-covered mountains … until she becomes tied to their homestead by love. Is she the child of the fairy tale, conjured by Mabel and Jack’s own deep desire for a child and their impulsive and joyous act of building a snow child during the first snowfall – or an orphan left alone to survive in a beautiful but unforgiving wilderness? And what happens when one tries to capture and hold onto what is beautiful but ephemeral? There are no simple answers, even to the end of the novel, which leaves the reader lingering over the ending and contemplating meaning long after you’ve read the last page. A highly readable novel and a compelling one.
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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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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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Format: Paperback
Loved loved loved this fairy tale of a story! I loved listening to this story on Audible and it really came to life. An old man and old woman who wanted to have children but were never blessed with any. One day they build a little snow girl and miraculously a short time later a child is flitting about their property. This story takes place in Alaska and is just so beautiful!
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