Monday, February 17, 2014

The Snow Child

by Eowyn Ivey

Yes, I am really far behind on posting! Every once in a while I have a book to write about but get stuck on how exactly to review the book, this is one of those books. I have come back to it several times and just can't seem to get it out, so even though the reviews are piling up, I can't quite get over the hump.

In a nutshell, I liked this book a lot. It is a sweet story of a couple, Jack and Mabel who are trying to make a life for themselves on the Alaskan frontier. The Snow Child is a combination Russian folk tale and Cather-esque style homesteading saga. Ivey does a great job detailing the hardships faced by these pioneers, in addition to relating the personal suffering of this particular childless couple. She weaves these elements throughout the book as she is simultaneously unfolding the tale of the snow child, Faina. It's fun at the beginning that Ivey makes the child somewhat of a mystery, leaving everyone wondering if Jack and Mabel are losing their sanity. She also does a great job giving Faina just the right mix of vulnerability and durability. While I wished for a different ending, ultimately it was in keeping with the nature of the characters. And even though most of the story consists of numerous trials and adversity, the beautiful writing doesn't leave you feeling gloomy.

This is a great book to sit down with over a long, cold weekend.

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