The Snow Child

The Snow Child

A Novel

Book - 2012
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., c2012.
ISBN: 9780316175661
Characteristics: 389 p. ;,22 cm.


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Jul 26, 2018

I loved this book so much. It’s a retelling of a Russian fairy tale and throughout the entire story I felt as if I were walking in a dream. The writing is so beautiful that when a character was cold, I felt a chill. Mabel and Jack are an older couple who move to the Alaskan wilderness. They have no children but meet a family that lives close enough to visit, and they become friends. The character development is my favorite part of this book. As Mabel becomes friends with the new neighbors, she blossoms and begins to open up and seems much happier. Her newfound happiness could also have something to do with a child that shows up out of nowhere. This is the magical part of the book. Did the girl come to life because of a snow child that Jack and Mabel built? Is she lost in the woods? The child seems to be able to take care of herself, but Jack and Mabel become attached and begin to treat her as if she were their own. I highly recommend this book.

Feb 10, 2018

perfectly readable, characters evolve, understanding of living with wildlife in Alaska, as well told as Egg and Spoon. I did not want it to end. Love her writing style, choice of words, tale and characters

Jan 26, 2018

She writes beautifully but too much "fairytale" formy tastes

Jan 20, 2018


Sep 21, 2017

I still think about this book a year after reading it. I absolutely loved it!

Librarian_Deb Aug 28, 2017

A folktale is re-imagined as taking place in Alaska during the 1920's. A childless couple is struggling to survive as homesteaders there. Mabel, the wife, is so despondent at the beginning of the book that she ponders going down to the river and allowing herself to fall in. Jack, her husband, focuses on the enormous amount of work it is taking him to clear the land, plant crops, and eke out a living. Hope seems lost to them until some neighbors reach out to help them. One night, feeling unusually light-hearted, they construct a snow person which they decide to make into the image of a little girl. The next day the scarf they had put on the snow figure is gone, and Jack catches a glimpse of an impish child running through the woods. They both begin to see the girl, often accompanied by a red fox, who seems perfectly at home in the Alaskan wilderness. This girl becomes their new obsession, and she will forever change their lives.
I enjoyed this story a lot, the Alaskan setting was new to me and I enjoyed learning more about life there. The story has a mystical quality to it and at the end I wasn't quite sure how to explain it all. Our book discussion group enjoyed hashing over this element and we didn't all agree but we enjoyed the story and were captivated by the characters in it. Definitely a good read - especially on a cold winter's day.

Aug 15, 2017

This book was absolutely enchanting, well deserving of being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. I got lost in the full senses immersion of the Northern wideness of Alaska. Reminiscent of Jack London's work, but with a fresh gentle breath. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and will be purchasing a copy for my home collection, which I almost never do. Can not recommend enough.

Mar 28, 2017

I usually really like historical fiction, but I found this book to be pretty boring. I did like the magical aspects, but not enough to impress me.

Mar 26, 2017

Beautiful prose. The writing takes you to 1920s Alaskan wilderness. HIstorical fiction and magical realism are two of my favorite genres, and this novel has both. Loved it!

Jan 16, 2017

This was a beautiful story...loved every second of reading it. One of my favorite books of all time. I will buy a copy for myself from Amazon so I can read again and again.

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