Monday, November 25, 2013
Title: The Snow Child
By: Eowyn Ivey
The Snow Child is the first novel by Alaskan Eowyn Ivey. Set in Alaska in the 1920s, it is a retelling of a Russian folktale. In the traditional tale, a childless couple makes a little girl out of snow, and she comes to life. In Ivey’s novel, hardworking homesteaders Mabel and Jack make a snowgirl; but does she really come to life? Or is Faina, the girl they come to love, just a half-wild neighbor child? Ivey leaves this question open to the end of the novel. Realists can enjoy Ivey’s vivid description of the Alaskan landscape and wildlife and the hardships of homesteading in that lonely setting. Fans of magical realism will enjoy the ambiguity of the story. Is Faina real, or just a figment of Mabel’s imagination? And if she is real, where did she come from? Readers will have to make up their own minds. Having thoroughly enjoyed this first effort from Eowyn Ivey, I hope she will follow it up with something just as magical.
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