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The Snow Child [Paperback]

Eowyn Ivey
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,254 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 3.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Hardcover, Large Print 18.70  
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Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, Unabridged --  
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Book Description

30 Aug 2012

An international bestseller and contemporary classic: a 2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist.

Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?

Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy tale from which it takes its inspiration, THE SNOW CHILD is a bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tinder Press (30 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755380533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755380534
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A magical, heartbreaking story... gorgeous' (Marie Claire)

'It's the harsh beauty of the landscape that gives this stunning first novel its unique shape and atmosphere' (The Times)

'It is an exceptional book that deserves to melt millions of hearts' (Sunday Express)

'A story about finding love in unexpected places... full of fire and ice' (Financial Times)

Book Description

THE SNOW CHILD was an international bestseller in hardback and paperback (over 350,000 copies sold in the UK alone), and went on to win Eowyn Ivey the International Author of the Year award at the 2012 National Book Awards

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
258 of 267 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical (but probably not for everyone) 10 Feb 2012
By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Mabel and Jack cannot have children. They move to Alaska to start a new life, one without the pressures of polite society. However it is not easy, the farm work is hard for her husband and money is tight. They struggle to survive the dark, cold winters and start to move apart. One night, as the snow falls, Mabel is overcome by a childish urge to make a snowman, no, a snow child. She gives it mittens and a hat and Jack carves a beautiful face in the ice. The next morning, the snow child is gone, but there is a trail of small footsteps leading into the woods.

The Snow Child is a retelling of a Russian fairy tale, Snegurochka, Little Daughter of the Snow. Moved to the wild and isolated Alaskan frontier in the twenties, it beautifully describes the land, the snow and the hardships of making a living there. It does have a timeless feel to it, although mod-cons such as internet, air travel and daylight lamps have made living there much easier now, you get the sense that not a huge amount has changed.

It still retains the feeling of a fairy tale though, perhaps this will not be to everyone's tastes but I loved it. It is not fast paced, and it did seem to slow a little in the middle, if you tire easily of descriptions of snowy winter wonderlands and characters doing little but farming or hunting wild animals, you may struggle. The writing carried me through and I must admit to being fond of snow - we don't get enough of the proper stuff here. The snow is so central to the book, it brings playfulness and beauty but also danger and cold.

The speech between the snow child and the other characters is lacking in quotation marks which added to the doubt of her existence or realness.
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82 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking and Mesmerizing 18 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover
My husband gave me this book for Valentines Day.

I picked up the book and didn't put it down for 5 hours. It was 3am when I decided to stop reading it.

A middle-aged couple with no living children, move to Alaska to start a new life after a stillbirth, there they encounter the Snow Child. A child who lies somewhere between reality and fantasy and the story tells the tale of joy and worry she brings to their lives.

It beautifully written, astoundingly emotional and some of the themes at least are close to home. I recently suffered the loss of my only child, and the deep desire to have a family is so difficult when suffering from infertility. I feel the emotions expressed in this book are so honest and so true to what I feel, that I spent half the night in tears. Unless you have been in that situation, losing a baby and having infertility, you can never understand that NEED, that yearning desire to have a family, the only thing missing from life, the ever traumatic memory of your child that died.

I feel the harsh reality of their lives in Alaska, represents the harshness of a life without the one thing they obviously want so much - children, and she brings help and happiness in more than one way, making their lives better in so many ways.

This haunting tale will stay with me a long time.
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123 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding 29 Nov 2011
By Lovely Treez TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With a nod to Russian folklore, Eowyn Ivey's debut novel is truly a thing of beauty. In the 1920s, middle-aged couple, Mabel and Jack, up sticks and move to Alaska, hoping to flee the heartbreaking memories of their still-born child. How can this vast, bleak landscape possibly fill their empty hearts? Hope comes with the appearance of Faina, a quasi-feral child who brings equal amounts of joy and sadness into their once barren lives as she flutters in and out of their home.

The writing is so evocative and atmospheric, it's hard to believe that this is a debut novel. We see the crisp beauty of the wild Alaskan landscape which can be equally cruel and bountiful. We see real folk trying to carve out a decent living against all the odds, clinging onto the slightest glimmer of hope.

Eowyn Ivey has spun a spellbinding, haunting story, skilfully blending fantasy and reality. Throw another log on the fire (virtual or real!) and be transported to the Alaskan wilderness through this captivating tale.
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101 of 108 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer more pace and action. 24 May 2012
By Laura
Format:Hardcover
This is a difficult book to review as it's simply not the kind of book which I would usually be enthusiastic about. You might wonder why I picked it as my Audible download of the month, in that case, right? Well, the blurb intrigued me and the cover enchanted me. I had hopes of a haunting narrative, evocative of old, dark fairy tales. What I got was something different.

Ivey creates a phenomenally beautiful sense of place and it is evident that she is intimately familiar with the Alaskan wilderness she describes. The detail given to the surroundings was definitely my favourite aspect of the story. However, I felt that the characters weren't nearly as vivid. I have a suspicion that Ivey did this deliberately as the lack of colour given to either Jack or Mabel was indicative of their ailing relationship.

Jack and Mabel move to Alaska to start anew and to escape their old, childless life. But the move isn't the cure they had hoped it would be. Instead their lives have grown dismal and silent. It is only when the little girl, Faina, enters their lives that things begin to look up.

This is one of those books which is going to get four or five stars from a whole bunch of reviewers. It's beautifully written... but in my opinion, it was also slow. Actually, it goes further than that; I think it was dull.

Very little happens for about seventy percent of the novel, and when things do happen they happen slowly. Until the very end. The last few chapters of the book felt rushed and desperate to me, as though Ivey just wanted to be done with it. She added a third point of view, she skipped about six years in a leap, she seemed to forget all about the themes of hope and grief surrounding Jack and Mabel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Charming, winsome with a sting in the tale - gripping
Published 9 days ago by Silverfish
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a great story
Published 11 days ago by ff
5.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting book
A beautifully written book. It is a book that is hard to put down.
Published 12 days ago by Unity
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful book - a fairy tale for grown ups. Have recommended it to others who have also enjoyed it.
Published 14 days ago by Mrs Gill M Siddall
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story
Great story, well devised and written. Very sensitive.
Published 17 days ago by ChrisMG
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Group Read
Read as part of WI book club suggestion. Enjoyed the fairytale quality of the book - would recommend it to others.
Published 19 days ago by Brenda Robson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book, I recommend it.
Published 20 days ago by Maria Agnew
3.0 out of 5 stars Magical
'The Snow Child' is about Mabel and Jack and how their life changes when a mysterious girl appears in their lives. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Justhavingfun
4.0 out of 5 stars What an intriguing story ... !
This was a slow read and I read it directly after I'd finished "Instructions for a Heatwave" and in the middle of our 'heatwave'. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Jill in East Kent
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching
Beautiful, I loved this book. It felt touching and fragile. It made me appreciate the simplicity of life and reminds you to treasure those close to you. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Kittykat
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