The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
How was it?
This was a subtle fantasy. An old man and woman, alone in the Alaskan wilderness, wish for a child. In a moment of rare lightness and play, one appears, seemingly, from snow, wind and pine bough (much more exciting than birds and bees). The magic wild-child flits in and out of the couple’s lives, bringing one back from the brink of loneliness and opening the other to affection and love. This touching and sincere fairy-tale was well woven, sad and delightful and highlights the impermanence of love, life and longing.
What was it?
A contemporary take on a classic fairy tale (that I never heard of) with a touch of magical realism thrown in. The setting of the 1930’s Alaskan wilderness was novel, harsh, isolated and lovely. The cold itself was almost palatable in some of the descriptions – playing a walk-on/walk-off roll with the seasons. Focus was on the characterization and growth of the characters more than discovery or action. The magic is loose and airy without containment or rules. The comradery between man and beast (the snow child and her fox; the family with their horse) added an extra level to the story-telling.
Should I read it?
Yes. Sweet Lord Ganesha, YES! But a warning first – the sheer amount of emotion envoked in this book can cause unwanted attempts at homesteading, life-long monogamy and attempts at spontaneous magic and occupational necromancy. It is also likely you will hug the shit out of your family at some point in the story and blubber like fat, candy-less child.
This book in six words?
Contemporary take on a classic tale.