The Snow Child

The Snow Child

eBook - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.--From Amazon.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2012
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316192965
Characteristics: 1 online resource (389 pages)
text file


From Library Staff

2013 Novel Idea selection

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 13, 2020

Definitely a fantastical book. The author’s writing style was very good, and most of the time, created the impression that you were actually there. I guess, when I think of how cold Alaska is, this did not drum up a comfortable feeling for me. More than anything, I thought it was great to learn about the Alaska environment.

Nov 18, 2020

(4.5 stars)This book is so beautifully written! On almost every page there was a paragraph that I wanted to quote in order to share how amazingly eloquent the writing is. The story of a middle aged couple, Jack & Mabel, who move to Alaska in the 20's, and set-up a homestead in the middle of nowhere as an escape from their own personal demons. On the night of the first snowfall they build a snowchild who comes to life (perhaps).

This book reads like a fairytale (some parts were magical), and for the first half of the book I was completely enamored. The characters were well developed, and reading about life on a homestead in Alaska in the 20's was fascinating (with the exception of the treatment of animals, which appalled me). At about the halfway mark my interested waned slightly.

The reason I didn't give this book 5 stars was the ending (although I believe that it may have been the author's intention to leave the ending a little open in order to allow the reader to come to their own conclusions on Faina). Personally, I was hoping for a bit more closure and explanation. She'd written this whole book with such amazing descriptiveness, the ending could have used more.

Sep 20, 2020

In a twist on the age old fairy tale, The Snow Child, written by Eowyn Ivey, follows the story of Jack and Mabel, a couple in Alaska, who are childless and slowly getting distanced from each other because of it. However, after building a snow child from the season’s first snowfall, the couple meet a young girl, Faina, who had survived in the wilderness by herself. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand where she came from as well as the parallels between her and the titular fairy tale, Ivey blends between the fictional and real to create a mesmerizing novel that captures the attention of all readers. This novel drew me in and kept me hooked the entire time. Not only was the plot well written, but the characters’s complexity and personalities were equally as good. This novel, though a slow start at first, becomes an unforgettable book that stays with you months after reading. I would recommend this to those who are fond of fairy tale twists and those who like reading about the wilderness.

Dec 27, 2019

Source: One great book - Anne Bogel

Nov 18, 2019

This book surprised me with how good it was. The descriptions of the beauty, horror and deep loneliness of the Alaska wilderness was so completely immersive that when the Snow Child appears, she is welcome and believable. I found myself falling in love with her, regardless of who or what she was. We see the transformation of a couple as they become parents, and I could relate to their journey into parenthood and family. It does not matter that it is through unconventional means. This book is about love in all its forms: love of children, siblings, family, friendship, romantic love; love and forgiveness of oneself, and love of the natural world. I strongly recommend it!

Jul 14, 2019

Beautifully written, engaging and magical story. It kept me off kilter in the best possible way. Amazingly accomplished for a first novel.

Jan 05, 2019

Fantastic book! Very well written and the story sucks you in. Almost as if you were there. Beautiful book, I will be adding to my home collection in the near future!

Oct 17, 2018

Wonderfully written! A bit dark at times. The content is tough to swallow, but worded in a way that doesn't make it so hard. The author tends to use descriptions rather then the actual horrifying event. At times I found myself intrigued and heart broken for even the roughest of characters in this book.

Oct 16, 2018

Interesting book. Even when you are finished you find yourself wondering how much of it is fantasy and how much is reality.

Sep 21, 2018

I loved this book so much. It’s a retelling of a Russian fairy tale and throughout the entire story I felt as if I were walking in a dream. The writing is so beautiful that when a character was cold, I felt a chill. Mabel and Jack are an older couple who move to the Alaskan wilderness. They have no children but meet a family that lives close enough to visit, and they become friends. The character development is my favorite part of this book. As Mabel becomes friends with the new neighbors, she blossoms and begins to open up and seems much happier. Her newfound happiness could also have something to do with a child that shows up out of nowhere. This is the magical part of the book. Did the girl come to life because of a snow child that Jack and Mabel built? Is she lost in the woods? The child seems to be able to take care of herself, but Jack and Mabel become attached and begin to treat her as if she were their own. I highly recommend this book. --Sheri (See more of my picks by following WoodneathSheri)

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Sep 20, 2020

lkim17 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at DPL

To Top