I took the book off the library shelf and read the blurb at least a dozen times this past year. I thought, Oh, I don't know, maybe next time. Didn't think it was for me and my reading peculiarities.
This time I brought it home along with the usual four or five books I think I might read in the next two weeks. Third book in I decided it was time to give it a go.
Didn't stop reading until 1:30 a.m. And then, reluctantly.
I found magic in Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child. From page 1 to page 388, I reveled in this author's enchanting, emotional story, told in language that sent my writer's heart soaring across the harsh landscape of the Alaskan wilderness. I swear I smelled spruce, and melted snowflakes on my tongue. The imagery is that well done, and so are the characters. I sat with Mabel all night as she sewed her snow child a new coat. I trekked with Jack through the snow in the forest to hunt moose to keep him and Mabel alive through the winter. I climbed the mountain to help him bury a stranger. I made snow angels with Faina.
The Snow Child is a fairytale and folk legend blended with the realities of homesteading in the Alaskan wilderness in the 1920s. Ivey's prose is perfect, her imagination is boundless, and the heart of the novel is so very true to the hearts of all of us who wish for something with such ferocious longing that we make it real.
Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife, said of Eowyn Ivey's novel "If Willa Cather and Gabriel Garcia Marquez had collaborated on book, The Snow Child would be it."
Ivey was raised in Alaska, and was a reporter for the Frontiersman newspaper. The Snow Child, her debut novel earned her a spot as a finalist for a Pulitzer in 2013. Her second novel, To the Bright Edge of the World, is also set in Alaska in 1885. She is an independent bookseller in addition to being a writer. An excellent writer.
And you all who know me, know I cried at the end. For the beauty of the story, and for my envy of the author.