Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Snow Child

Title:  The Snow Child
Author:  Eowyn Ivey
Publication Information:  Hachette Book Group. 2012. 389 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book based on reading its description on GoodReads.

Favorite Quote:  "You did not have to understand miracles to believe in them, and in  fact Mabel had come to suspect the opposite. To believe, perhaps you had to cease looking for explanations and instead hold the little thing in your hands as long as you were able before it slipped like water between your fingers."

The Snow Child is a re-interpretation of an old Russian tale. This version tells the story of Jack and Mabel, an older couple who long to have a child but have given up of hope of ever doing so. They have recently relocated to Alaska in an effort to escape a life surrounded by other people's children. Yet, their sadness accompanies them.

As the story goes, one day after a snow storm, they build a child out of snow - a little girl. Lo and behold, the child comes to life. They name the child Faina and grow to think of her as their own. The book follows what happens over the coming years.

The book does make reference to the Russian tale fairly early and reveals the ending of that tale. However, even knowing the possible ending had no effect on how much I enjoyed the book. The story is beautifully written. The writing makes you feel the longing of Jack and Mabel. It draws you into the solitude and the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness. It captures the wild and ephemeral nature of Faina.

This story blurs the distinction between what is real and what exists in our imagination. I am still reflecting  on who Faina was. However, as the quote above suggests, perhaps I will stop looking for explanations and just enjoy the wonder of the story. This is Eowyn Ivey's debut book. I can't wait to read more!

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