The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey: Book Review

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey Book Cover

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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey Book Cover
4 Stars

Title: The Snow Child
Author: Eowyn Ivey
Trigger Warnings: Fertility issues, stillbirth, vague suicidal thoughts
Genre: Magical Realism, Fairy Tale, Historical Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Hardcover

My Synopsis:

Jack and Mabel always expected to have a large family. But the years passed and they had only one stillborn child. Mabel’s broken heart can’t tolerate being around her siblings and their large families any longer so she and Jack decide to move to Alaska.

But life is still hard in Alaska, especially during the long, dark winters. When the first snowstorm of the season arrives, Jack and Mabel playfully build a snow girl, complete with coat, mittens, and a sweet smile. Imagine their astonishment when they find that the snow girl has vanished overnight and small footprints lead away into the woods.

My Review:

I enjoyed this but as a woman who has chosen not to have children, I don’t think it speaks to me the same way it speaks to mothers or those who long to hold little ones in their arms. But even I found Mabel and Jack’s plight heartbreaking and rushed to find out exactly what was going on with the little snow girl. Was she magic? Was she an orphan who coincidentally found the childless couple on the night they built a snow girl?

“We never know what is going to happen, do we? Life is is always throwing us this way and that. That’s where the adventure is. Not knowing where you’ll end up or how you’ll fare. It’s all a mystery, and when we say any different, we’re just lying to ourselves. Tell me, when have you felt most alive?”

The combination of the harsh frontier life, the magic of the snow girl (was it magic?), and the vivid descriptions of the beautiful Alaskan scenery kept me turning pages.

There are a few scenes that might be triggers for some readers, as noted in the details above. I otherwise recommend it for readers who are looking for a touch of magic in a long, cold winter.

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  1. I’m really enjoying it but am not getting through it as fast as I’d like but it’s my big winter read so I’m ok taking my time with it. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. This was one of my favorite reads last year. I’m not usually a fan of magical realism, but the writing was so lovely and I’m now eager to read more by Ivey.

  3. I have seen this cover around and finally know what it’s about. I’m not sure it’s the book for me, but the concept is intriguing.

  4. Glad you liked it overall. As Nicole mentioned above, never had considered this from the perspective of possible triggers but definitely something to keep in mind.

  5. Hi Jennifer! I loved this book. I’ve been through a rather similar experience with a still birth, so this story touched me deeply. It was wonderfully written and I loved the fact that the magical realism remained part of the whole book.

    Thanks for your honest and lovely review.

    Elza Reads

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