Friday, August 9, 2013

Book review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The novel I want to write about today is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.  Ivey adapts an old Russian folktale called "Little Daughter of the Snow" in a largely successful attempt to create a more complex understanding of it.

The Snow Child is set in Alaska in the 1920's.  Mabel and Jack are trying to start fresh by setting up a farm in the Alaskan wilderness.  They have always wanted a child, and when they notice that a mysterious young girl is living in the woods, they begin to wonder whether that dream might just come true.

My favorite aspect of the novel were the descriptions of the setting.  The writing is really atmospheric, and it really highlights the gorgeous, rugged setting.  I thought that it really set off the plot, and it felt really seamless, unlike some other books when the descriptions feel like they were just added to increase the word count.

It is a novel that is more character-driven than plot-driven, and I know that's not to everyone's taste, but I still think that it's worth a try, even if it's not the kind of book you would normally read.  Personally, I like character-driven novels.

While I loved the opening parts of the book, I was actually slightly disappointed by the end. Without spoiling it, I think that there were a lot of interesting themes and ideas that weren't satisfactorily resolved.

The last page has the words "Not the End" on it.  I hope this means we aren't looking at a sequel. Even though the ending wasn't perfect, I did like the fact that it felt conclusive.  I think that there are a lot of books out there with unnecessary sequels, or series that get dragged out too long, and I appreciate it when a writer knows when to move on.

Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 85%