Winner: International Author of the Year - Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
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 Alaska 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 is surprised to find they 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? Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy-tale from which it takes its inspiration, THE SNOW CHILD is an instant classic - the story of a couple who take a child into their hearts, all the while knowing they can never truly call her their own.
©2012 Eowyn Ivey (P)2012 Headline Digital
"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)
"Eowyn Ivey's prose brings the chilly northern wilderness to life." (Bookseller)
"A lovely haunting story with gentle narration"
This is a charming story with wonderful description and imagery. The narrator's soft accent really helps the story along. The emotions of Jack and Mable and the description of the landscape, the animals and the weather are enchanting. This is the perfect listen for a quiet Sunday afternoon. It is a very serene book.
"Beautiful and atmospheric"
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it evoked the wild spirit of Alaska and the desperate sadness of a childless couple longing for someone to nurture and love. I wasn't too keen on the narration at first, but I settled into it after the first few chapters. Highly recommended.
"Fairytale or true life"
A couple move to Alaska after losing their child. They are getting older, and frontier times are harsh. As the wife sinks into depression, they build a snowchild, only for it to melt away as a young girl is seen in the woods surrounding their cabin. The girl appears to thrive in the cold weather, but is she part of a 'stir crazy/cabin fever' wish on the parents' behalf, mirroring the fairytale of a snowchild the wife loved as a youngster, or is the girl a lost child fending for herself? Nobody else ever sees the child and she seems to disappear once winter has gone...what is really happening?
"I'm Surprised This Was the Editor's Pick"
I bought this because I'm a bit of a connoisseur of fairy tales and am especially interested by modern rewrites of old classics. However despite this being the Editor's pick I found it turgid. Whichever way the ending went, it was going to be predictable; the prose was cold and distant, with very little feeling evoked being reader and characters; and the novel was about twice as long as it needed to be, dragging relentlessly in places. It deserves two stars for the effort involved in using the landscape as a metaphor for the desolation of the old couple, Jack and Mable, but this was honestly a dull, dull book.
An interesting combination of a traditional folktale and a story of life in Alaska. Eowyn Ivey captures the harshness of life in a hostile environment, it really does feel cold!! The characters are well drawn and easy to relate to and the snow child adds a hauntingly mysterious element which lifts the book out of the ordinary.
"A book of two halves"
In many ways, this is a beautiful book, full of charm and imagination. The principle question of whether the snow child is a real person or a spirit from another dimension draws the reader in. The characters are well drawn though not always likeable and the writing is captivating. However, I felt the book lost it's way about half way through and could have ended at several earlier points leaving the story all the richer for it. I began to lose patience with the characters as it ploughed on and struggled to finish it. Having said that, the first half was wonderful and worth reading just for that.
"Wrap up warm!"
This audio book was truly a haunting listen.
The descriptions of the landscape and the elements stayed with me for weeks. It was a long journey of many hours with no rushing which really gave it a sense of wilderness and stillness.
If you get all cosy and warm first you can get through it!
Expecting a children's tale, this was nothing of the sort, though crafted alongside, carefully woven in and out of an ancient folk tale. Moving, vivid and totally absorbing. I sat listening for hours, unable to stop. This is writing of the highest order, totally original, equally magical for those who believe in the supernatural and the true cynic.The scenery and settings were perfect, the cold and the isolation, the colours and the seasons, early 20th Century Alaskan life in the raw.
"Beautiful, magical, haunting and poetic"
This story is beautifully told, the prose saturated with wilderness atmosphere, I almost feel I've been there myself.
A couple endures a harsh winter in poverty and isolation, tainted by grief. One evening, their mood lifts, when they play in the newly fallen snow and build a little snowman, complete with scarf and mittens. In the morning, nothing remains but a broken heap of snow and a trail of small footprints leading away. A pale little girl in that same scarf and mittens eventually emerges from the forest and comes to play a crucial role in Jack and Mabel's life. But they have very different ideas about who or what she is, and what she means to them.
Until the last page, I am left wondering whether the central storyline is fantasy or reality. Is the girl magical, or flesh and blood? We're no more sure than Jack and Mabel, who come to see her as the child they never had.
"Gripping read- perfect for Christmastime"
A lovely, slightly mystical tale of hardship and love in Alaska. I was captivated by it. There are unanswered questions at the end which made for great discussion. Highly recommended .
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.