The Snow Child

Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child

A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on making a fresh start for themselves in a homestead 'at the world's edge' in the raw Alaskan wilderness. But as the days grow shorter, Jack is losing his battle to clear the land, and Mabel can no longer contain her grief for the baby she lost many years before. The evening the first snow falls, their mood unaccountably changes. In a moment of tenderness, the pair are surprised to find themselves building a snowman - or rather a snow girl - together. The next morning, all trace of her has disappeared, and Jack can't quite shake the notion that he glimpsed a small figure - a child? - running through the spruce trees in the dawn light. And how to explain the little but very human tracks Mabel finds at the edge of their property? 3.7 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
The Snow Child

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Hardcover
Pages 432
RRP £14.99
Date of Publication February 2012
ISBN 978-0755380527
Publisher Headline Review
 

A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on making a fresh start for themselves in a homestead 'at the world's edge' in the raw Alaskan wilderness. But as the days grow shorter, Jack is losing his battle to clear the land, and Mabel can no longer contain her grief for the baby she lost many years before. The evening the first snow falls, their mood unaccountably changes. In a moment of tenderness, the pair are surprised to find themselves building a snowman - or rather a snow girl - together. The next morning, all trace of her has disappeared, and Jack can't quite shake the notion that he glimpsed a small figure - a child? - running through the spruce trees in the dawn light. And how to explain the little but very human tracks Mabel finds at the edge of their property?

Reviews

The Daily Express

Charlotte Heathcote

… luminously written and all-consuming …

19/02/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Elena Seymenliyska

09/03/2012 Elena Seymenliyska http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/9131317/Four-first-novels-reviewed.html Ivey’s writing is infused with fresh spruce and the fug of log cabins, thanks to a lifetime spent in the Alaskan wilderness. A bookseller from a town near Anchorage, she abandoned the novel she’d spent years crafting when she came across the Russian folktale about Snegurochka, the snow girl who comes to life only to melt in the familial embrace. In the best tradition of magical realism, this is a bewitching tale.

09/03/2012

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The Observer

Henry Krempels

Eowyn Ivey's first novel is a fairy tale for people who have grown out of fairy tales. By setting a traditional Russian folk story against the grim backdrop of 1920s Alaska, her tale charmingly combines the real and the fantastical.

04/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Adrian Turpin

Ivey handles the transitions between the magical and the mundane with skill. Ultimately, this is a story about finding love in unexpected places, and very winning it is too – full of fire and ice and just about the right dose of sentimentality.

27/01/2012

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The Independent

Nicholas Tucker

What makes this novel most remarkable is the quality of its writing. Descriptions of natural life come over bright and clear ... The author's firm hold on the realities of love and loss only begins to waver just before the end. But this is still a fine achievement, well worth catching at any age.

21/02/2012

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The Daily Mail

Amber Pearson

Her descriptions of the hard, bleak Alaskan winters are so well done you almost expect to see your own freezing breath in front of you as you read.

16/02/2012

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The Scotsman

Tom Adair

This gritty reality anchors the fairy tale, and provides an essential basis of credibility to the narrative. Sometimes domestic detail, or tracts of descriptive lyrical snowscape, become superfluous. More of the darker early history of Jack’s and Mabel’s relationship would have sharpened the novel’s finale. Nonetheless, this book is affecting. Worth persevering with. Eowyn Ivey, a finely tuned writer, has made her mark.

11/02/2012

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The Times

Kate Saunders

It’s the harsh beauty of the landscape that gives this stunning first novel its unique shape and atmosphere.

11/02/2012

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The Guardian

Carrie O'Grady

The best thing about The Snow Child – what sets it apart from genre fiction and keeps you reading – is the way Ivey declines to lay her cards on the table. Are we dealing with fantasy or reality here? Is the girl magical, or flesh and blood? We're no more sure than Jack and Mabel ... a tasty Baked Alaska of a novel, melting on the tongue and all but forgotten by morning.

24/02/2012

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