Book Review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

the-snow-childWhat’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.


My thoughts

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.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author Links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source:  Borrowed from library
No of pages: 432
Publisher: Tinder Press

Talk of the Town


  1. 3rd February 2017 / 8:46 am

    I’ve Seen this book around many times and been attracted to it but been glad to read your review as I am sure I would feel exactly the same !

    • 4th February 2017 / 5:50 pm

      if you can suspend your disbelief easily, then you may enjoy it. If you can’t, then definitely give it a miss 🙂

  2. 3rd February 2017 / 9:43 am

    I struggle with magic realism too. I find it hard to read books where the characters are going to work, making dinner, watching TV and then all of a sudden the toaster comes to life or something! 🙂

    • 4th February 2017 / 5:49 pm

      Yes exactly! And in this case, it’s the child! I want it to be one or the other 🙂

  3. 3rd February 2017 / 7:34 pm

    This was around loads before and after publication but I didn’t read any of the reviews. I think this might be right up my street Lindsay!

    • 4th February 2017 / 5:47 pm

      it would be perfect for you and I think you’d really embrace it! 🙂

  4. 3rd February 2017 / 8:35 pm

    I’m not sure your argument for book clubs is so good, haha. I like magic realism, but only in small doses, the rest of me struggles and fights for complete realism!

    • 4th February 2017 / 5:48 pm

      Not in this instance, but in my defence of our book group we have read some exceptional books that I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise 🙂

  5. suzanna
    4th February 2017 / 9:36 pm

    Not sure this is a book for me but I do think the cover is quite striking and, from your review, it seems to fit the story.

    • 5th February 2017 / 12:54 pm

      It is a stunning cover and does match the scenery descriptions well! 🙂

  6. 5th February 2017 / 7:13 am

    I love the cover but I’m not sure if this sounds like my kind of read either. Fab review! #ToTT

    • 5th February 2017 / 12:55 pm

      Thank you! It is a lovely cover, perfectly matched for the story…just not my cup of tea really.

  7. 6th February 2017 / 5:46 pm

    Hm, I’m not sure about this one. Like others said, the cover is amazing but I don’t know if its my kind of book. However, I may still add it to my TBR because…I always add books if I’m on the fence about them. That could be why my list is overwhelmingly long…lol

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