You know how sometimes, you read a review of a book in the paper or whatever and think, ‘Eh, not for me’? I’d felt the same about The Snow Child when it was first released a couple of years ago. It was nominated for various prizes and just didn’t grab me in the same way as many other books at the time.
When it came up on Bookbridgr, though, I changed my mind. I liked the idea of a story set in the desolate north of Alaska in the 1920s and the promise of a modern fairytale. Because that’s what The Snow Child is; it’s based on an old Russian fairy story about an old, childless couple who make a girl out of snow.
The couple in the novel are middle-aged and homesteading in Alaska is their last-ditch attempt to do something wonderful with their lives. Alas, they find Alaska beautiful, brutal and disappointing, until their own snow child, a girl called Faina arrives. Like the snow, she arrives every winter and leaves in the spring. You’re never quite sure if she’s real or just imagined by the protagonists. The novel has a touch of magic and fantasy about it, but with just enough ‘realness’ to keep the reader grounded.
I loved this book. The prose- especially the descriptive passages- were beautifully written and made me yearn for the kind of snowy winter that brings huge snowflakes and bitterly cold days. It’s definitely a novel to consider as we move into the colder months. It’s book that will stay with me for a very long time.
*Sent for review