➮ [Read] ➪ The Snow Child By Eowyn Ivey ➺ – Saudionline.co.uk

The Snow Child quotes The Snow Child, litcharts The Snow Child, symbolism The Snow Child, summary shmoop The Snow Child, The Snow Child f358b015 Alaska,A Brutal Place To Homestead, And Especially Tough For Recent Arrivals Jack And Mabel Childless, They Are Drifting Apart He Breaking Under The Weight Of The Work Of The Farm She Crumbling From Loneliness And Despair In A Moment Of Levity During The Season S First Snowfall, They Build A Child Out Of Snow The Next Morning The Snow Child Is Gone But They Glimpse A Young, Blonde Haired Girl Running Through The Trees This Little Girl, Who Calls Herself Faina, Seems To Be A Child Of The Woods She Hunts With A Red Fox At Her Side, Skims Lightly Across The Snow, And Somehow Survives Alone In The Alaskan Wilderness As Jack And Mabel Struggle To Understand This Child Who Could Have Stepped From The Pages Of A Fairy Tale, They Come To Love Her As Their Own Daughter But In This Beautiful, Violent Place, Things Are Rarely As They Appear, And What They Eventually Learn About Faina Will Transform All Of Them

10 thoughts on “The Snow Child

  1. says:

    when i was about one hundred pages from the end of this book, i tugged on greg s sleeve at work, and said, is this gonna end sad and he refused to answer.i think that was a good impulse.because i almost don t wanna review this this book was such a beautiful journey, and taking place as it does over a number of years, there are naturally high and low points, emotionally but i m not going to tell you how it ends up.i will tell you that i VERY NEARLY CRIED early on like page 42 early.i misted, but nothing tumbled out.that is a big deal for me, and from that point on, i was hooked.i suppose i can give you some brief descriptions, for those of you who strangely don t see the cover and instantly think must read jack and mabel are a couple who married late r in life than typical for the 1920 s, suffered a miscarriage, and move to alaska to try their hand at homesteading, as a way of isolating themselves from the constant reminder of their loss, their friends and families with their healthy children, and the sorrow hanging over them now in their fifties, the idea was that the solitude would heal them, and together, they would build a new life and cleave together with a love stronger than ever.this didn t exactly pan out, and each of them descends into their own private griefs and the hardships the brutal carelessness of nature presents, and their own inability to communicate further isolates them from any potential for healing.until one night, when an unexpected levity descends upon them, and they build a snow child together, dressing her in a hat and mittens that they have, and carving the face of a beautiful girl upon her.the next morning, the snow child, and the clothing, are gone, and there are faint footprints leading away from where the snow child was built.soon, they start seeing glimpses of a little girl in the woods in the company of a red fox fleeting, shy, wild.is this the snow child come to life is it all a coincidence is there magic afoot is it simply grief fueled madness cabin fever any other explanation with the help of their neighbors including the amazingly plainspoken and badass character of esther, and their elusive snow child, their solitude will lessen, and these questions will be answered, while a beautiful story unfolds this book may be based on a fairy tale, but there is no easy magical deus ex machina at work here.the bulk of the book is about survival whether it be survival from poverty and lack, or from loneliness and loss it is about the bonds of family, however family is necessarily redefined through circumstances,and the painful sacrifices we make for love.it is a beautiful and mature debut novel, and although i read the ARC, i am definitely going to buy the book when it comes out, because this one is a keeper.anything else i could say would ruin it trust me.come to my blog

  2. says:

    I put off reading The Snow Child because it wasn t something I would have chosen for myself without the extremely positive reviews of other goodreads members If it is not obvious to you from the description alone, then this book is not mostly plot driven It s charm is upheld by the characters, the relationships, and the sad, cold mood that seems to permeate the entire novel from open to close It is the kind of novel that I sometimes have trouble with, the kind not concerned with action or drama, but subdued and subtle However, I was fortunate in that the characters held my attention throughout and the relationship between Mabel and Jack carried something simultaneously heart warming and bittersweet that really spoke to me.Mabel and Jack are an aging couple that have escaped from their previous reality into the Alaskan wilderness They struggle to get by with Jack trying desperately to turn the old farm where they live into something that can support them through the harsh winters But they are also struggling with something that runs much deeper their childlessness and the memory of the stillborn baby that continues to drive them apart I loved the relationship between the pair, the way they often felt distanced from one another but still relied on each other for support It was heart breaking to picture them sat at their table feeling the absence of a child and unable to discuss it.There s something about this novel that is just plain sad Even when nothing particularly sad seems to be happening It s a tone that the story never shakes and perhaps it is something to do with the description of the freezing and isolated environment that made me feel like I should prepare to burst into tears at any second 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.Onto the snow child herself It could have been an intentional move on the author s part, but I felt constantly distanced from her character I felt perhaps she was a tool by which the main players Mabel and Jack could be analysed and allowed to grow and develop This is not so much a criticism as an observation If you aren t aware of the basic plot outline, Mabel and Jack create a child out of the snow on a winter s night and discover the creation gone the next morning with a single trail of footsteps leading away from where it had stood Then suddenly they start to spot a young girl roaming the woods, one who is identical to their snow sculpture and they see it as an opportunity to maybe finally have the child they always wanted.I had been all set to give this book five stars, I really had The writing is beautiful, the characters interesting, and the relationships touching but the ending was disappointing For me, it seemed like an unsatisfactory is that it, then kind of ending that left me expecting some kind of twist from the epilogue that wasn t forthcoming It wasn t enough to make me change my mind about the rest of the story and I would still highly recommend this book, but it was quite a large fault in an otherwise near perfect novel.

  3. says:

    There once was an old man and woman who loved each other very much and were content with their lot in life except for one great sadness they had no children of their own I ve often read that it is difficult to write a review about books that left you indifferent, distant I agree, but for me, writing a review about a novel that left me speechless with its beauty is equally hard Where do words stop Where should we stop analyzing and dissecting a work of literature and let the power of the story speak for itself Jack and Mabel is a couple that love each other unconditionally and yet, their life together is tarnished by the absence of a child Their decision to move to Alaska, in a remote area of the Last Frontier, is their final attempt to start anew, on virgin ground, away from their relatives gossips and silent pity A tough place to begin again, one may say, but I believe that we are often in need of a shock, in need of a drastic change of environment, to look upon our lives under a new light, to attempt to correct our wrongs or chase our fears away It is not easy Far from it And it is not easy for our protagonists either November was here, and it frightened her because she knew what it brought cold upon the valley like a coming death, glacial wind through the cracks between the cabin logs But most of all, darkness Darkness so complete even the pale lit hours would be chocked While Jack retains his contact with the outside world, Mabel stays home waiting, reading, baking pies, slowly letting herself become a vulnerable prey to her sadness Then, one cold, beautiful, snowy evening, she and Jack decide to let themselves become children again, and a miracle happens A beautiful child starts visiting them.No about the plot, we are treading on thin ice here Let us turn our focus to the characters The way Ivey has created the relationship between Jack and Mabel is astonishing It is a love that is realistic earthy, devoted and full of equal trust Jack is like a rock that supports Mabel in her every step, Mabel is tenderness, determination and the sole reason he keeps on going Actually, they are each other s reason to persevere and tame the wild, formidable nature and make it their home Mabel adds to the ambiguity of the narration There is an intense feeling of uncertainty, especially in the first half of the story Is she a reliable narrator What is this young girl that seems to appear out of nowhere Is she a forest child spirit A creature of winter Or is she a human child of flesh and blood with an unquenched, primeval instict of survival The characters that move in the periphery of the action are quite interesting in their own merit Aside from Faina, Esther and Garrett occupy much of the plot Esther is a solid character, a strong woman, as strong as the harsh landscape I m sure that most of us would like to have her as our close friend Garrett takes on quite a distinctive role during the second half of the novel.Ivey writes her tale in a language of impeccable beauty, creating immediate images in the mind of a reader, with a vividness that takes you away, carrying you into the heart of the story The characters jump out of the page, you are able to smell and feel the wintry air on your face, the aroma of the cold and the fur trees You can feel the softness of the snow, the crispiness of a newly formed snowball, the heat from the woodstove and its cozy light around the wooden cabin There is a nightly ice skating sequence that is, possibly, one of the finest, most beautiful, heartwarming passages I ve ever read We never know what is going to happen, do we Life is always throwing us this way and that That s where the adventure is Based on a Russian fairy tale, this story resembles every bit of the beauty of the Russian folk tales It is sad, hopeful and sensitive, its characters are people like us It is an example of how exciting can the mixture of realism and magic realism become when done right It is a creation of love, nature, darkness and light A creation of persistance and strength, of all those elements we encounter in our daily lives, those we adopt and the dark ones that we try to scare away The way I see it, these are the ingredients of a beautiful, classic story The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is certain to become one So forget all pretentious philosophies about the deeper meaning the author wanted to convey , and allow yourselves to become children, playing with the snow on a starry night Escape to a snowy plain in Alaska and let magic in You will not be disappointed

  4. says:

    Thank you to the Goodreads community and my friends for the comments of inspiration while I was reading this book When The Snow Child was first released in 2012, other that adoring the books cover, I was sure this book wasn t for me I m not sure why or what I thought it was I just passed it over Well, for what s it s worthI am than pleasantly surprised to discover how MUCH I LIKE THIS BOOK I don t seem to remember anyone telling me it was a page turner.The blend of myth and naturalism are alluring and fascinating In all fairness, I was ready for this book I m not sure I was 4 years ago Besides the story itselfIt s been a long time since I even thought about the homesteading hardships in Alaska I took a class on the history and geography of Alaska when I was an under grad at Cal over 40 years ago A few memories come back My emotions were invested right from the start Having a story mixed with history often makes me authentically interested in the history The descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness were so stunning, that I ended up looking at pictures on the Internet brought back memories of when I was in that college class studying Alaska before computers I loved the beginning of this novel it s what kicked in my momentum of desire to keep reading I knew nothing about the Russian fairy tale Snegurochka the story of The Snow Maiden a girl half human and half snow I think it was a great way to tell this story it gave me the magical reality context I needed to enjoy this story Before Faina comes into the story I felt so much sadness for Mabel and Jack, I could imagine being 50 years old back in 1920, was a older in a sense , than it is today in 2016 Mabel and Jack never left my thoughts the entire book even when the story shifted to Faina and young Garrett Mabel had already been living with so much despairhow was her relationship with Jack going to thrive ha , survive, their already emotional traumas let alone the challenging elements Faina, the orphaned wild child , brings hope and and zesty energy to everyone in the community She and her red fox disappear in the summer, return in the winter Am I the only one who wondered where they went during the summer months lolI didn t feel that the epilogue was necessary at the end, really It s not that I didn t want to read it I DID at the same time, without it, my imagination would have had a chance to take my own path I wonder what others think I could chat about this book now for hoursbut I ll stop YOU GUYS HAVE READ THIS BOOK ALREADY you need my thoughts like a hole in the head But it s all true This is a wonderful book sad, chilling, mysterious, magical and realistic Where you off to Jack asked as he scraped the last fork full of egg and potato from his plate I thought I go out for a walk, just to see the snow On that note.it s still summer here in California I m walking outside for sunshine to ride my spin bike under the tree and continue reading Love to my friends

  5. says:

    Once upon a time there lived a childless old couple This is not an uncommon beginning to folk tales, a simple introductory line which can and in Eowyn Ivey s The Snow Child does condense into a few simple words the years of pain, sadness, and intense longing for something that nature refused to give despite desperate desire Where else in life, Mabel wondered, could a woman love so openly and with such abandon This is where I saw the strengths of The Snow Child not in the imagery of Alaskan wilderness through the prism of magical realism, not in the enigmatic nature of the titular snow child, but in the depiction of quiet, desperate sadness and alienation that plagues a deeply unhappy couple, torn apart by the weight of grief, struggling under the burden of their perceived failures Was that why they had come north to build a life Or did fear drive her Fear of the gray, not just in the strands of her hair and her wilting cheeks, but the gray that ran deeper, to the bone, so that she thought she might turn into a fine dust and simply sift away in the wind Jack and Mabel are an aging couple who left their old life and moved to Alaska seemingly to start a homestead but really to escape the weight of their loss that, turns out, they were not able to leave behind with their old lives More than anything, Mabel desired to have a child, defining herself through the view of motherhood but all she and Jack have is the memory of a tiny deformed stillborn, the one that Mabel hasn t even had a chance to say goodbye to as Jack with the best intentions, sadly quickly took it away for a silent nighttime burial.Years later, neither Mabel nor Jack have overcome their grief and loneliness Instead of reaching out to each other, instead of finding ways to cope they seem to have retreated deep into each own self, allowing tiny cracks to appear in their marriage, withdrawing behind invisible doors, isolating themselves from the world filled with life and children and constant reminders of their loss and at least in their perception failure In this state of mind, leaving everything behind and trying to start a brand new life in Alaska seemed like a promise of a new better life or so Mabel had hoped Mabel had known there would be silence That was the point, after all No infants cooing or wailing No neighbor children playfully hollering down the lane No pad of small feet on wooden stairs worn smooth by generations, or clackety clack of toys along the kitchen floor All those sounds of her failure and regret would be left behind, and in their place there would be silence But little has changed in the new place the sadness that rules their lives, enveloped in silence and things not quite said refused to be left behind And here they are, in Alaska, still grieving, still drifting apart, Mabel suicidal in her depression, Jack preoccupied with simply trying to provide sustenance to his family, and things have never looked bleaker for the two of them Was that why they had come north to build a life Or did fear drive her Fear of the gray, not just in the strands of her hair and her wilting cheeks, but the gray that ran deeper, to the bone, so that she thought she might turn into a fine dust and simply sift away in the wind These parts of quiet desperation in which Jack and Mabel existed because at this point it was mere existence and not quite life were the parts that emotionally connected with me There is that elusive something in the pervasive melancholy superimposed onto the landscape beautiful but cold and severe that touches the soul and pulls on the heartstrings, and even though you know that it s calculated to precisely do just that to your poor vulnerable heartstrings you cannot help but feeling for this miserable couple deeply and sincerely.My heart ached for Mabel even though I cannot quite relate to her plight But, unlike her, I can imagine a world where not having children can be a choice instead of a curse, where being a mother is not the sole expectation for a woman, where it is okay to admit to the lack of allure of maternity For me, such a world is part of our reality For Mabel, on the other hand, not having children has been out of question and her not having them was merely unnatural in the America of the 1920s If you said you didn t have children, it sounded like a choice, and what kind of craziness would that be If you said you couldn t, the conversation turned awkward while they contemplated your manliness or your wife s health And then, just as everything seems to be hopeless, the Snow Child appears a strange and ethereal Faina, a little girl who appears on the night Jack and Mabel in a giddy trance make a snow sculpture in their yard, a child who only is seen in winter and seems one with the snow covered stern world of Alaska To Mabel, something about her reminds of a Russian children s story about a snow maiden that graced the lives of an old childless couple and as far as Mabel remembers, the story does not have a happy ending Mabel s Snow Maiden is very familiar to any Russian child Snegurochka, a tragic young maiden made of snow, doomed to demise by the fire spring love in the many versions of the fairytale beautifully depicted by the famous painter Vasnetsov below , who through the last couple of centuries came to fill the role of the granddaughter of Father Frost, the ubiquitous presence at any kindergarten New Year s Day party, the inspiration for the many children s New Year s outfits see baby Nataliya below as a very special snowflake Snegurochka Faina, unfortunately, is the weak link in the melancholic fragile magic that is the sadness of this book Is she real or fantastical A snow child or an abandoned little girl seems to be the question that plagues her adoptive parents her vulnerable fragility masked by the exterior of strength and stubbornness is touching, indeed But it s precisely this mysteriousness, further underscored by the quotation mark less dialogue every time Faina makes her appearance was what for me prevented the formation of any meaningful connection with her Faina s appearances, right down to the what just happened here last one I found instead frustrating, jarring and interrupting the tone of the book.Mabel s friend Esther, basically the embodiment of life energy that Mabel appears to lack, a breath of vitality in the slow melancholic existence Unfortunately, this stark contrast again breaks the mood of this book that hinges on quiet sadness.Overall, I found this book to be a lovely story, even if far from perfect It s captivating in its own quiet way when it focuses on its strength the fragile yet tender relationship between two aging lonely people in the cold and cruel but beautiful world 3.5 stars and a respectful nod to Eowyn Ivey for a rather strong debut work But he knelt at her feet, put his head in her lap, and they held each other and shared the sorrow of an old man and an old woman who have lost their only child

  6. says:

    A magical classic fairytale story for adults bringing back memories of our childhood Sister Read Review by Norma BrendaTHE SNOW CHILD by EOWYN IVEY is a wonderful, heartwarming, sad, and beautifully told bewitching tale based on a Russian fairytale titled Snegurochka , The Snow Maiden a girl who is believed to be half human and half made of snow This enchanting story had us both asking ourselves was there something magical happening here or not Oh, but for us, there definitely was something magical about IVEY S writing style here THE SNOW CHILD captured our imagination as the characters captured our hearts Leaving us questioning the mysteries surrounding this so real story that had us hovering between reality and fantasy Asking ourselves if Faina was actually a real girl or a fantasy Was she a product of their imagination because of their desire for a child of their own Or was she something magical This added some suspense to the story as we tried to figure out who this little girl was EOWYN IVEY delivers a very vivid story here that gives you an extremely good feel of sense of time and place of these characters homesteading in Alaska The wonderful feel of the land, their battle against nature, the harsh cold that actually had Brenda feeling chilled as she was reading and their isolation IVEY S description of life on the farm was very real and we could imagine the battles they endured along with all their hard work to survive.We both loved the fantasy and magical aspect of this story which made it a thoroughly pleasurable reading experience To sum it all up it was an enjoyable, fun, fascinating, and a fast paced read with a bittersweet ending Most definitely would recommend.All of Brenda and my reviews can be found on our sister blog

  7. says:

    I loved this sweet story So much heart and a little magic

  8. says:

    So this story was beautiful with so many cute and heartbreaking moments One of the best things in the book is the character development and the developing relationships throughout the story From the start of the book, I nearly started crying because there was just scenes that were so heart wrenching especially at the end which completely broke my heart.All the characters are perfect in this novel, they all have their faults but just as many strengths and the unexpected romance towards the end just killed me Faina, the snow child is one of the coolest characters I have ever met as she s a quiet badass Her interactions with Mabel and Jack are so cute and the relationship that develops between the three of them is adorable The neighbours, George, Esther and their children are hilarious especially Esther She s a woman who gets stuck in and says what she s thinking.The looming tale of the Russian fairytale is beautifully woven in along the story and sometimes makes you question yourself The way the story progresses is brilliant and everything happening in the story is engrossing I completely fell in love with this book and I have to buy my own copy This has definitely weaved it s way into my favourites because of the strong emotions it made my feel while reading it.A woeful tale full of both tragedies and joy but a fantastic read.

  9. says:

    5 It was beautiful, Mabel knew, but it was a beauty that ripped you open and scoured you clean so that you were left helpless and exposed, if you lived at all. Jack had always scoffed at the superstitious and mystical Alone in the depths of the wilderness, however, in the fading winter light, he had discovered in himself an animal like fear A debut, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and a wonderful story I m happy to add to my list of favourites I used to read myths and fairy tales, so I m a perfect audience for this lovely interpretation of an old Russian folktale.It s 1920, Wolverine River, Alaska Jack and Mabel have made a daring move from the comfortable East Coast of the United States Mabel was a well educated, sheltered girl, but when she and Jack lost their baby and have had none since, she urged him to make the change They needed to start anew, by themselves, for themselves Or so she told people she wondered if she had told the truth Was that why they had come north to build a life Or did fear drive her Fear of the gray, not just in the strands of her hair and her wilting cheeks, but the gray that ran deeper, to the bone, so that she thought she might turn into a fine dust and simply sift away in the wind Eventually the isolation, Jack s troubles trying to farm, and their dwindling finances finally grind Mabel down, not to a fine dust, but to a state of despair She s ready to call it quits, but then one day, they meet a neighbour family of lively boys and colourful parents, and they are sucked into their warm circle Esther is a strong, loveable woman in overalls with a never say die attitude Just what Mabel needs Esther burst into the cabin like a friendly hen, flapping and chattering and nearly knocking Mabel over as she tried to open the door for her In one hand she held a towel covered cast iron pot and with the other she hugged Mabel and kissed her on the cheek When the snow begins to fall softly one night, Mabel remembers playing in it as a girl Before we know it, she and Jack are outside, throwing snowballs and building a snowman No, a snow girl With red mittens and scarf, a pretty face carved by Jack, and lips reddened by a berry Yellow grass hair is the last touch The next morning, the snow has melted and Jack glimpses a figure with yellow hair and a red scarf, dashing through the trees.When Mabel remembers the Russian folktale her father used to read them about a childless old couple who made a snow child that came to life, she writes to her sister to ask for the old book As Jack finally tracks her and coaxes her to come closer to the cabin, we see Faina is like a lovely wild animal Shy of them but fierce and capable of looking after herself in ways they can t The child brought the smell of snow in with her, and the air in the cabin cooled and brightened As they begin to interact, Mabel keeps re reading the story and her sister s letter with details of the folktale She becomes frightened, understanding that such a child may not survive Another child gone from their lives It was a possibility she could not bear She wound herself tightly, as if within her girdled ribs she could contain all possibilities, all futures and all deaths Perhaps if she held herself just right Maybe if she knew what would be or could be Or if she wished with enough heart If only she could believe Haven t we all done that Prayed, crossed fingers, collected lucky charms, wound ourselves tightly Ivey has written a magical story, and it even includes a possible explanation for Faina s presence But we don t really buy that, do we We like the fairy tale And this is a magical place Illumination behind the peaks shot up into shards of light, blue green like a dying fire, rippled and twisted, then spun circles into ribbons of purple that stretched up and over Mabel s head until she heard an electric crackle like the sparks from a wool blanket in a dry cabin at night She looked directly up into the northern lights and she wondered if those cold burning specters might not draw her breath, her very soul, out of her chest and into the stars.

  10. says:

    It s truly gratifying to come across a book that evokes the senses to such a degree that its flavor is brought to the palate Such is the case with Eowyn Ivey s debut novel, The Snow Child Infused with aspects of pine boughs, mountain herbs, woolen mittens and inspired by happenstance, it breathes new life into an old Russian children s tale Ivey stumbled upon in her bookstore.We come to know of aging Jack and Mabel through their childless sorrows, playful intense love and survivalist fortitude all cruxing on a belief in dreams and a touch of magic Through imagery spun with such crispness as to leave a skiff of snow on your heart and the bite of cold wilderness air in your lungs, it s nearly impossible not to fall deeply into the story of Faina and her enchanted sudden appearance And I must say, the skill with which Ivey works your emotions ebbing and flowing like tides with each of Faina s heartbreaking disappearances belies the fact this is her first book Devastation and light, fear and hope, all there At the end, I found myself believing Jack, Mabel, Faina and the cast of supportive neighbors pragmatic George, boisterous Esther and their helpful wide eyed son Garrett really existed somewhere, somehow surely these must be real Alaskan folk I can only leave you with this when you bring this book into your world, carve out time to give it your full attention Then make a space for it on your shelf of favorites, it belongs there.

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