FCT: The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey

First Chapter Thoughts for...

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

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. 

The Snow Child is a critical success, has a pleasant cover and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee. I think it’s beautiful, stark and sad in only a few pages and am sure that it continues to be amazing, and Resh of The Book Satchel reviewed it most favorably. But I don’t think I’ll like it.

Oh, heck. I decided to flip through my library copy to the end and saw how Faina’s story concludes similarly to how it began, and it’s just not a book I want to read. Especially when I dug more deeply into the facts of Faina’s parentage. I don’t like contemporary and general fiction, even with magical or fairytale elements, this isn’t something I’d enjoy.

Actually, I think I just feel misled. Everything points this to being a fantastical tale, but it isn’t a fantasy novel in any sense.

Verdict: No.

Pages: 390
Year: 2012
Publisher: Black Bay Books, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company