Monday, December 24, 2012

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

"What a tragic tale!  Why these stories for children always have to turn out so dreadfully is beyond me.  I think if I ever tell it to my grandchildren, I will change the ending and have everyone live happily ever after.  We are allowed to do that, are we not Mabel?  To invent our own endings and choose joy over sorrow?"

This novel expands on the traditional story of "The Snow Maiden."  It is set in the 1920s in the Alaskan wilderness and begins when a childless couple, Mabel and Jack, build a snow child during the first snow fall of the winter.  To their surprise, the snow child is gone the next morning, but a young girl starts to appear everyday near their house.  As the girl becomes like a daughter to them, Jack and Mabel are left to wonder where the girl came from and how to keep her save.

I loved the mysterious and "fairy-tale" like atmosphere that appeared throughout the book.  I kept going back and forth between thinking that the girl was real and being something that the lonely couple imagined.  Even after finishing to novel, I'm not quite sure I knew who the girl was.

This book was #10 on my top ten list of 2012.

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