Friday, September 13, 2013

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The cover alone made me want to be in the peaceful nighttime of deep winter, where the ground is covered by snow, the sky is black black black, those brilliant stars pierce black, and things hide in shadows. My connections and embrace of the serious quietude to wintertime's night on the cover led me into that book hook, line, sinker.

The story leads us into the mostly quiet and at the beginning, uneventful lives of Jack and Mabel. Never able to have a child of their own, they meander through life up in the wilds of Alaska, homesteading and barely making ends meet in the 1920's. Life becomes survival, and Mabel and Jack float emotionally apart; grief from the loss of their son in utero seals their conversations into silence. Until a little mystery named Faina shows up. A "snow child," Faina lives in the woods, tricking Mabel and Jack's eyes, causing them to question if they are going a little crazy, seeing snow children emerge in the middle of snow fields right before their eyes. But it becomes true: there is a girl living in the wilds of Alaska in the dead of winter. And she is quite healthy. Mabel and Jack develop a sweet relationship with the child over time, and readers will too. This story, wisely told by well-developed writer Eowyn Ivey, becomes one of hope and living life in the moment, meaningful relationships and beautiful life flowing every day and night. Some of the story is predictable but in that good familiar way.

I enjoyed this read for its simple pleasure. I look forward to more from Ivey, and more from that lovely, vast land to our far north. Let me know what you think. 

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