In Eowyn Ivey’s magical debut novel The Snow Child, a couple creates a child out of snow. When she appears on their doorstep as a little girl. That’s essentially what happens in Eowyn Ivey’s “The Snow Child,” but the author has transported the story to her native Alaska and fleshed it. A sad tale’s best for winter, as Shakespeare wrote. The Snow Child, a first novel by a native Alaskan journalist and bookseller named Eowyn.

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While Faina is happy to live with her new parental figures, she also enjoys her independence and disappears on occasion, off into the woods, where she once made her home.

I already knew the Wolverine River, and the dangers, and the sometimes magical landscape And they continue to work their magic, as they did long ago for the woodcutter and his wife, for those who are good and kind, particularly the children, bringing them small gifts and helping to make their dreams come true.

The rough lifestyle contrasts nicely with the love they show one another and, eventually, Faina, who is equally interesting a character.

Susan Rouchard the poetry of this book hovering between fairy tale and hard realism. Once upon a time there lived a childless old couple For me, it seemed like an unsatisfactory “is that it, then? Winters are long in Alaska, she says. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. A little long but I absolutely loved it overall.

I can’t say for sure whether this book was supposed to be a lesson in how you cannot run away from your problems, or how bottling things up and shutting people out never works, but I can say that I took a little bit of all of this from the story. Next day, the child is gone – and a wild girl starts visiting them, clandestinely at first, then more and more openly.

She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. It is an example of how exciting can the mixture of realism and magic realism become when done right.


I could taste moose meat for the thirtieth and th time; smell wet wool and blood, birch fire and moonshine. And such a life that this couple experienced in the Alaskan wilderness where nothing is taken for granted, where preparing for the upcoming winter is paramount all spring and all summer. I truly enjoyed the experience of reading this beautifully written book! I don’t seem to remember ‘anyone’ telling me it was a page turner. Is she real or is this just a fairy tale?

This is not so much a criticism as an observation. It’s not that I didn’t ‘want’ to read it I DIDat the same time, without it, my imagination would have had a chance to take my own path. And as she flits back and forth between their small cabin and the depths of the snow-bound winter forest, she also lights up the lives of other inhabitants of their remote community of homesteaders some distance from Anchorage.

Our couple, Jack and Mabel, have left Pennsylvania behind, with their still born child, and invested all they have in a homestead in Wolverine River, Alaska. Another thing that struck me was the occasional streak of violence. I knew nothing about the Russian fairy tale– “Snegurochka” I liked the premise and could not help but enjoy how the story evolved in the rural Alaskan communities.

Or so she told people. View all 20 comments. Jack and Mabel are drifting apart—he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – review | Books | The Guardian

In the morning, the couple catches sight of a tiny child running among the pines. So this story was beautiful with so many cute and heartbreaking moments.

Infused with aspects of pine boughs, mountain herbs, woolen mittens and inspired by happenstance, it breathes new life into an old Russian thd tale Ivey stumbled upon in her bookstore.

I felt a connection to the story and characters, not distracted with busy city life or blazing gunfights. The characters that move in the periphery of the action are quite interesting in their own merit.


Birth, death, rebirth – these are the themes of ageless tales. The overjoyed couple would raise it as their own, but the story would usually end badly, with the breaking of some taboo resulting in the child going away.

Jack had always scoffed at the superstitious and mystical. But I could feel it – in the silence, in the breath of the narration, in the things that were deliberately left unsaid.

The Snow Child | Eowyn Ivey

Some folk tales feature her as a girl unable to know love until Mother Spring takes pity and gives her this ability, but as soon as she falls in love, her heart warms her and she melts. See more of my reviews at www. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and leaves blizzards in her wake.

There is A LOT of humanity to this tale; a bevy of miscommunications and secret keepings take place between these two along the line.

Often while reading this book, I wondered “what is real”, “what is fantasy” and “does it really matter?

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – review

The blend of myth and naturalism are alluring and fascinating. I think I read the last pages without stopping, the morning after falling asleep reading it. Then, out of the blue, a child magically appears during a snow storm. It’s all of these, of course, which is what makes America’s largest state such fertile ground for novelists, from Jack London on down.

There is a nightly ice – skating sequence that is, possibly, one of the finest, most beautiful, heartwarming passages I’ve ever read. It is sweet and poignant and infinitely realistic.