Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reading The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child
Eowyn Ivey
Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books (A division of Little, Brown) (November 6, 2012)
400 pages, 2012
ISBN: 13: 9780316175678

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

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