Saturday, November 30, 2013
Reading The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey
Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books (A division of Little, Brown) (November 6, 2012)
400 pages, 2012
There were no OH MY GOD moments here, but the story was written well. The elements of myth/fantasy was excellent. I'm always partial to that kind of thing. Of course, The Snow Child (or Snow Maiden) is a Russian fairy tale and the novel follows it pretty well. A girl made of snow becomes flesh and blood through the child-barren couple, who lives in the woods. She visits in the winter and leaves once spring comes; A child of the wilderness, exactly as in this book. The woman (Mabel) drove me a bit crazy, but I guess grief can make you do strange things. Like build a snow child.
It's set in the 1920's, but feels timeless, perhaps because of the wilderness/primal theme. It takes place in Alaska, which lends atmosphere to the book. It really set the mood. The characters were written so well that you sympathized, empathized.
I love the paperback cover (the picture above). Again, it sets the mood and is visually pleasing. The artwork is fabulous, I think.
This book reminds me a bit of Matt Bell's book, IN THE HOUSE UPON THE DIRT BETWEEN THE LAKE AND THE WOODS. There are similar elements: isolation-couple moves out to the middle of nowhere as the couple in Bell's book. Children-the grief of having lost/not being able to have them. Significant animal symbolism-the fox in Snow Child and the bear in Bell's book. The Snow Child, even if it has mystical/ethereal qualities, seems more rooted in reality. Birth/Life/death/grief in a very primal way is in both books.
You can read an interview with the author here.
Visit her site here.
You can read more of my reviews at Goodreads