PURPLE TREE BOOKS REVIEW: Reading Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child will be a journey into a desolate 1920s Alaskan land where Mabel and Jack have decided to set up their own homestead. After the tragic loss of what would have been their first and only child, they strike out to conquer a land that looks as empty as their hearts feel with not being able to have a child of their own. One mysterious night when a snow storm blankets the land with layers of heavy snow, Mabel and Jack reconnect for the first time in a long time while building a snow-child outside in their yard. When morning comes what they find –a smashed snow-child and a young girl peering from behind a tree– is hardly what they ever expected! Ivey’s writing is beautiful and charming; this is a book you will not want to put down.

BOOK SUMMARY: Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.


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