Friday, February 10, 2012

2012 book 38

Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child
A childless middle-aged couple has moved to Alaska in the 1920s to try and start a new life together, but their marriage and their farm are both struggling--until they start to see a little girl in the woods outside their cabin. Because this is based on a Russian folktale (where a childless couple builds a snow-girl who comes to life, and they love her, and no matter how the story goes, she ends up melting), I thought I knew how things would proceed, but I must admit that Ivey took the story in some unexpected (and some inevitable) directions. Really strong characters here, and the descriptions of Alaska, the woods, and the wildlife are outstanding. The book is well worth the praise it's been receiving, and almost has a timeless feel (perfect for a reworking of a folktale). A.

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