The Snow Child Hardcover – 1 Feb 2012
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'This book is real magic, shot through from cover to cover with the cold, wild beauty of the Alaskan frontier. Eowyn Ivey writes with all the captivating delicacy of the snowfalls she so beautifully describes' (Ali Shaw, author of The Girl With Glass Feet)
'If Willa Cather and Gabriel Garcia Marquez had collaborated on a book, THE SNOW CHILD would be it' (Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife )
'An enchanting tale of isolation, hope and love' (Woman and Home)
'a magical, heartbreaking story... gorgeous' (Marie Claire)
'A mystical tale of heartbreak and hope' (InStyle)
'an original and magical debut' (Good Housekeeping)
'a stunning debut novel' (Reader's Digest)
'It's beautifully written, imaginative and the story expresses real human emotions of love and loss... I think this could be one to win lots of prizes this year' (Essentials Magazine)
"Ivey grew up in Alaska, and still lives there with her family, and it's the harsh beauty of the landscape that gives this stunning first novel its unique shape and atmosphere" (The Times)
"what sets Ivey's brand of magicial realism apart if her ability to convey, in prose as crystalline as a snowflake, the wildness of the frozen land and the privations suffered by settlers trying to make their lives there. Her Alaskan landscape is a place of such extreme beauty and cruelty that the fairy tale its heart is only one of the spells it casts." (Metro)
"it is the magic and not the realism that will sell a million copies of this book... calls to mind another debut The Time Traveller's Wife, whose readership this book aims (rightly and deservedly) to captivate" (The Spectator)
"Taking its genesis from an old Russian fairy tale, the author fleshes out her story of emotional and geographical desolation and of enduring suffering and loss, with a terrific combination of toughness and delicacy." (Sunday Times)
"It is an exceptional book that deserves to melt millions of hearts" (Sunday Express)
"enchanting tale of love, hope and survival in the frozen North" (Daily Mail)
A magical novel with a distinctly grown-up sensibility, THE SNOW CHILD will appeal to fans of imaginative reading group fiction, such as THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE, THE LOVELY BONES and THE BOOK THIEFSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A really unusual book combining a fairy story with the harsh reality of life in Alaska in the 1920's. I was hooked from the start, and devoured it over a weekend. Read morePublished 17 hours ago by ThePaiges
A lovely relaxing holiday read that will leave you wondering. For me it was a book of two halves, both equally enjoyable and engaging.Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
A beautifully written book with well rounded characters who you can't help but care about.Published 23 days ago by Hells Bells
One of my top ten books. A beautiful story to get lost in.Published 1 month ago by LOUISE MCDERMOTT
I've never been a fan of fantasy and I prefer not to read books that have had a lot of promotion and coverage, so when I picked this up I was doubtful. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Book chatter
1920 Alaska, Jack and Mabel are struggling on their homstead. What would make them complete is a child but it is not to be. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tinalouise1969
too much description and the description too repetitive for my tastes. there are only so many different ways you can describe trees and snow. a slight story but well spun out. Read morePublished 2 months ago by bookworm