Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Snow Child

It’s been a harsh winter here in New England.  As you may know if you follow this blog, I was born in Miami and seem to biologically lack the ability to cope with cold, which in turn leads to a fair amount of grousing from October through May.  Yet as Mother Nature dumped more and more (and then still more) snow on us this year, I found myself compelled to re-read some seasonal favorites.  The very best of these is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.
Homesteading in Alaska Territory in 1920, Mabel and Jack are willfully isolated, trying to forget the stillborn infant that came after too many failed attempts to conceive a child.  When they play in the snow one night, building a tiny snow person and wrapping a scarf around its neck, the joy in their marriage seems equal to the sorrow they’ve endured.  And when, shortly after, they spy a little girl running through the woods, miles from civilization, their adventure and the unfolding of a series of beautiful - and harsh - love stories is only beginning. 
The Snow Child is Eowyn Ivey’s debut novel, released in 2012 to well-deserved acclaim.  It is simply stunning.  She seems to intrinsically understand how to weave language and story together in a way that perfectly suits the fairy tale she is telling - a tale at turns brilliantly joyful and heartrendingly dark.  The Snow Child easily holds even the likes of me in thrall with the stark and unforgiving Alaskan winter, for there is an undercurrent of magic running throughout.
If one must watch snow fall ceaselessly outside, best to do it curled by the window, with blankets and tea and the crackle of a wood fire, lost in the pages of this treasure of a tale.
{If you don’t already own this book, treat yourself by clicking here.}

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