What’s it about?
Alaska, the 1920s. 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?
Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy tale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic.
This was our book club read for December (yeah I know, I’m way behind on my reviews), and in all honesty it wouldn’t be a book I’d choose for myself, but that’s the whole point of book club reads. Being set mostly in Winter itself, it was a perfectly timed read.
All in all, it’s a bit of a strange one this, there’s no contest that it’s beautifully written which sets and explores the haunting and stark landscape but it’s the whole is it a fairytale or isn’t it? Is it real or isn’t it, and is Faina real or just imagined? Regular readers will know I don’t really do magical realism, in the sense I like books that are cut and dried, so this one was never really going to appeal, nevertheless for the most part I enjoyed it.
I particularly liked the scenes involving Esther (Jack and Mabel’s neighbour) who was such a lively, extrovert character that she really woke the book up because the scenes involving Jack and Mabel tended to be slow and quite repetitive, in fact, a lot of the book is repetitive with Faina’s comings and goings and the daily slog in trying to survive in such a wilderness.
I’m taking from this book that essentially Faina saves Jack and Mabel; before she came into their lives they were just existing but by the end they were living again. Perfect for fans of the magical realism genre but just not my preferred type of read so I had to persevere to finish.
Small print for info
Source: Borrowed from library
No of pages: 432
Publisher: Tinder Press