The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

It’s 1920, and Alaska is a harsh place to try to build a life but that is exactly what Jack and Mabel have done.  Having never been able to have a child of their own, the couple now growing older seem to be drifting apart as Jack struggles to maintain the farmland and survive the brutal winters while Mabel suffers from loneliness and depression. 

When the seasons first snowfall comes, in a rare moment of lightness the couple build a child out of snow covering her with Mabel hat and scarf.  In the morning the snow child is gone, but the couple start seeing a mysterious young girl in the woods wearing the hat and scarf. 

At first the girl is a rare sighting, they only see her in the winter months and they speak to their friends about the girl in the woods they are told that no child lives in the area.  Yet Jack and Mabel continue to see her and one day she comes out of the woods, and when invited into their home she comes in.  The girl says her name is Faina and even though she comes for supper with the older couple, she always leaves and when spring comes she is gone until the following years snowfall…

Mabel’s sister sends her a book that their father used to read to them as children about a child made of snow, and to Mabel it almost seems as though the child has stepped right out of the pages of this fairy tale!  But the ending in the book is not a happy one and Mabel refuses to believe that Faina is merely something magical and will suffer the same fate, although seems seem to be following the books story line…

Why did I choose to read this book?  I blame the book bloggers!  A while back I seen this title popping up everywhere and it sounded like a sweet read.  When I found it on I had to give it a try.

The Snow Child is everything I hoped it would be.  The story line is filled with a richness that takes your breath away.  Told in this fairy tale like way I could easily picture the couple so desperately wanting a child that bring one to life out of snow.  You could envision the cold long winters of early Alaska and I would imagine being in a small house for months on end with little to do but try to make the food last and stay warm could wear on a person…. but now imagine if you could break up these long days with the chance of seeing a young girl who has become like a daughter to you.  You sew coats for her and talk to her and she appears to be everything you have been missing in life. 

The Snow Child is a book that makes you believe. 

Amazon Review


I purchased my copy of this audio from

33 thoughts on “The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

  1. I read this book several months ago. Here’s my opinion.

    This book doesn’t live up to the many reviews of it that I read. It is simply a retelling of a Russian fairy tale.

    But I would think that, in doing so, the author would have filled in the blanks, i.e., she would have made the tale seem more realistic by showing how the unrealistic might really have happened. And she does seem to be trying to do that. But the reader still needs a willing suspension of disbelief. The book is full of unanswered questions.

    I knew THE SNOW CHILD was based on a fairy tale. I learned that that’s not all—-it IS a fairy tale.

    I won this book from Freda’s Voice blog.

  2. Loved this book, so magical and absolutely perfect for winter even if the summer in Alaska sounds fantastic. I think you’re right about how the boredom would be overturned, and that’s surely partly why Mabel might have been considered dreaming Faina up, a mixture of longing and the difficulty that was her life in Alaska.

Hmmmm... what do you think?

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