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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Emma from Bookish in Crickhowell gives us an insight into what’s good to read this month

The Snow ChildWe’ve luckily been given a wide choice of debut novels throughout 2012 and Eowyn Ivey’s ‘The Snow Child’ a bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska is near the top of my list.

Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?

This is a warm and gentle tale, best read curled up in an armchair in front of a roaring fire in the depths of winter. Don’t expect a page turner with fast plot developments, the appeal lies in the mystery of the snow girl, the descriptions of the ever-changing Alaskan wilderness in all its harsh and terrible beauty, and the steady rhythms of farm and home life through the seasons. The sense of hardship and the cold of an Alaskan winter are palpable, and the relationship between Jack and Mabel, with its familiarity of a long marriage, rings true and is often touching. It’s a graceful, poignant story that will stay with you.

Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy tale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic.

Article by Emma Corfield-Walters

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