Overall Rating and Opinion of "The Snow Child"

Discuss the January 2015 book of the month. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.

How do you rate "The Snow Child"?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
0
No votes
2 stars - fair, okay
3
8%
3 stars - good, recommend it
26
65%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
11
28%
 
Total votes: 40

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 3403
Joined: 31 Jul 2006, 23:00
2019 Reading Goal: 52
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 19
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 7
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Favorite Author: Voltairine de Cleyre
Currently Reading: The Unbound Soul
Bookshelf Size: 287
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-scott.html
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Publishing Contest Votes: 960
fav_author_id: 2660

Overall Rating and Opinion of "The Snow Child"

Post by Scott »

What is your overall opinion of the January 2015 book of the month, "The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivey? Do you recommend the book to others? Why or why not?
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 43477
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 92
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: Re-Coil
Bookshelf Size: 1988
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by gali »

I loved the story and finished it in a couple of days. The "Snow Girl" is a great mix of realism and surrealism. I liked how the author incorporated elements of a Russian legend into the story. The book is well written in the style of magical realism, the descriptions are vivid and the characters are complex and painted with a deft hand. The author paints the plot with vivid colors of white (snow) and red (hunting animals, blood) and draws the characters with compassion and sensitivity, which brings life to the plot. Despite the somewhat depressing start, the book is very optimistic and a joy to read. The book tugs the heartstrings and raises some interesting questions about relationship between parents and children, how much kids really belong to us and the ability of the parents to let them go.

I rated the book 3 out of 4 stars due to his weak ending. One mystery (the mystery of Faina) remains unsolved to the end and I would have liked some closure on that. . All in all, it was still an interesting, enjoyable read. The author spins a magical tale and I enjoyed it greatly. I would certainly recommend the book.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

User avatar
TammyO
Posts: 1373
Joined: 16 Aug 2013, 19:21
Favorite Author: Jane Austen
Favorite Book: Persuasion
Currently Reading: The Husbands Secret
Bookshelf Size: 132
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-tammyo.html
Latest Review: "Double Identity" by Jaye C Blakemore
fav_author_id: 2379

Post by TammyO »

I am currently in the process of reading The Snow Child. Thus far the book is very engaging. I will post another response once I am finished reading the entire novel.
"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." ~Tom Clancy
Latest Review: "Double Identity" by Jaye C Blakemore

User avatar
Skillian
Posts: 1025
Joined: 16 Nov 2014, 00:52
Bookshelf Size: 103
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-skillian.html
Latest Review: "The Christ Killer" by Robert Attenborough

Post by Skillian »

TammyO wrote:I am currently in the process of reading The Snow Child. Thus far the book is very engaging. I will post another response once I am finished reading the entire novel.

Me too! I just got it from the library... just in time! The last few visits I made it wasn't yet available. Eeep! So much reading so little time. I might need to refrain from looking at any of these threads for a while... I don't want to spoil it for myself. haha. But... it... is.... so... tempting... to click...
I love LOVE. <3
Latest Review: "The Christ Killer" by Robert Attenborough

User avatar
Himmelslicht
Posts: 910
Joined: 06 Dec 2014, 06:31
Favorite Author: Gabriel. G. Marquez
Favorite Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude
Currently Reading: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Bookshelf Size: 342
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-himmelslicht.html

Post by Himmelslicht »

I'd love to read it because it seems so engaging but it's too pricey to buy it for now >_<
"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."
- Gustave Flaubert

User avatar
Fran
Posts: 28092
Joined: 10 Aug 2009, 12:46
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 132
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 109
Favorite Author: David Mitchell
Favorite Book: Anna Karenina
Currently Reading: The Paper Bracelet
Bookshelf Size: 1083
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-fran.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 3104

Post by Fran »

I really enjoyed it. I liked the fairytale aspect of it and the vivid descriptions of the Alascan wilderness - I though the author did a great job of showing how easily our trappings of civilization can be stripped away & how quickly we revert to frightened creatures easily scared by nature in the raw, to as Jack says "animal-like fear". The descriptions of the long Alascan night are both enthralling and repellingly beautiful, "through the window, the night appeared dense, each snowflake slowed in its long, tumbling fall through the black", I could visualise both the darkness and the slowly falling snow. That actually brings to mind the closing paragraph in James Joyce's fabulous short story The Dead.

I thought the child, Faina, a beautifully drawn character - fragile yet strong, loving yet remote. We are never sure is she a phantom of the darkeness or a real child of the wilderness. Jack & Mabel long to protect and safeguard the child but as winter receeds they must surrender the child to increasing daylight & the melting of the snows. Evocative in a way of how any parent must eventually surrender their child to the outside world and a future they can never know.

Central to the story is the issue of the loss of a child and the longing for a child. IMO Ivey does a great job depicting the pain of longing for a child and the way it can erode a relationship. For me the saddest part of the story is reading how Jack and Mabel in trying to protect each other are actually isolating each other.
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
- My Home by Clive James

User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 43477
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 92
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: Re-Coil
Bookshelf Size: 1988
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by gali »

I agree with you Fran. I also liked the fairytale aspect of the story. The descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness were excellent and very realistic. I could easily imagine myself over there building a snowman, sipping a cup of steaming tea, shaking the snow from my boots and taking part in the story.

I sympathized with the couple's longing and pain and I loved Faina and her fierce independence and the way she changed the life of the couple.

The author managed to convey skillfully the feelings of loneliness and depression. It was also sad that althought both parents had suffered, they grew apart instead of finding comfort in each other.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

User avatar
Fran
Posts: 28092
Joined: 10 Aug 2009, 12:46
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 132
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 109
Favorite Author: David Mitchell
Favorite Book: Anna Karenina
Currently Reading: The Paper Bracelet
Bookshelf Size: 1083
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-fran.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 3104

Post by Fran »

gali wrote:I agree with you Fran. I also liked the fairytale aspect of the story. The descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness were excellent and very realistic. I could easily imagine myself over there building a snowman, sipping a cup of steaming tea, shaking the snow from my boots and taking part in the story.

I sympathized with the couple's longing and pain and I loved Faina and her fierce independence and the way she changed the life of the couple.

The author managed to convey skillfully the feelings of loneliness and depression. It was also sad that althought both parents had suffered, they grew apart instead of finding comfort in each other.
I thought that was particularly well done especially that it was in being protective of each other, & desperately trying not to cause each other pain, that was actually driving them apart & isolating them in their individual pain.
I loved when Jack left the doll for Faina and that he could intuitively understand her conflicting desire to reach out to Jack & Mabel and simultaneously want to protect herself from becoming dependent on them.
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
- My Home by Clive James

User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 43477
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 92
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: Re-Coil
Bookshelf Size: 1988
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by gali »

Fran wrote:
gali wrote:I agree with you Fran. I also liked the fairytale aspect of the story. The descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness were excellent and very realistic. I could easily imagine myself over there building a snowman, sipping a cup of steaming tea, shaking the snow from my boots and taking part in the story.

I sympathized with the couple's longing and pain and I loved Faina and her fierce independence and the way she changed the life of the couple.

The author managed to convey skillfully the feelings of loneliness and depression. It was also sad that althought both parents had suffered, they grew apart instead of finding comfort in each other.
I thought that was particularly well done especially that it was in being protective of each other, & desperately trying not to cause each other pain, that was actually driving them apart & isolating them in their individual pain.
I loved when Jack left the doll for Faina and that he could intuitively understand her conflicting desire to reach out to Jack & Mabel and simultaneously want to protect herself from becoming dependent on them.
A good point. However by trying to protect each other, they went too far. Mabel almost killed herself because of this overprotectiveness. They were trying not to cause each other pain, but by their behavior did just the opposite. Faina helped them to come closer and I liked that. I also loved the doll scene and found it very touching. A pity Jack wasn't able (at first) to give his wife the comfort she so desired. If you recall, he turned away from her in her moments of need.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

User avatar
Moribund
Posts: 5
Joined: 18 Dec 2014, 21:06
Favorite Author: Loren Eiseley
Favorite Book: The Star Thrower
Currently Reading: The Stranger
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Moribund »

I rate books based on how they make me FEEL. This book did a good job. I felt cold - I'm from MN. I was very cold there. Alaska sounds worse. I'm a parent, and I felt the pain of her loss, longing, and fear of losing. There was a strong sense of fear in this book. It was well conveyed. I FELT it. I didn't like the closure at the end.

User avatar
zoedecicco
Posts: 106
Joined: 10 Dec 2014, 12:04
Favorite Book: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Bookshelf Size: 5
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-zoedecicco.html
Latest Review: "The Bad Path to Enlightenment" by Lee A. Eide

Post by zoedecicco »

I asked for this for Christmas as I wanted to do the Book of the Month this year. I'm excited about getting started.
"80% of success is showing up" - Woody Allen

"There are no small parts, only small actors." - Constantin Stanislavski
Latest Review: "The Bad Path to Enlightenment" by Lee A. Eide

User avatar
Tabish khan
Posts: 3
Joined: 27 Dec 2014, 04:11
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Tabish khan »

Its was really a good book to read different from other stories.

User avatar
krisliz88
Posts: 51
Joined: 24 Dec 2014, 08:26
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Favorite Book: Heartsick
Bookshelf Size: 10
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-krisliz88.html
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by krisliz88 »

Before I read this book I had heard many good things about it. To be honest, though, the first few chapters were a little hard for me to get through. I personally related to Mabel as far as having a miscarriage and really just wanting to completely run away. The hopelessness that she felt at the beginning, though, was not as intense as what she went through- I certainly did not have the extreme suicidal feelings that she went through. However, the author did a wonderful job in terms of making me feel like I just wanted to reach out and touch Mabel and let her know that she was not alone.

Over all, as far as the direction of which the book went, I thought was very well done. I wouldn't consider this one of my favorite books but definitely something that was enjoyable to pass the time.

-- 06 Jan 2015, 09:58 --
Moribund wrote:I rate books based on how they make me FEEL. This book did a good job. I felt cold - I'm from MN. I was very cold there. Alaska sounds worse. I'm a parent, and I felt the pain of her loss, longing, and fear of losing. There was a strong sense of fear in this book. It was well conveyed. I FELT it. I didn't like the closure at the end.
I think that the author purposely made this book have a very cold setting. Over and above the obvious reason for the Alaskan setting, the book did not start out on a happy note but instead had a very chilly and cool undertone and feeling to it. In a sense I think the setting was used in a dual way.

User avatar
freelancer101
Posts: 21
Joined: 23 Dec 2014, 15:01
Favorite Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Favorite Book: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-freelancer101.html
fav_author_id: 2456

Post by freelancer101 »

I gave the book 4 stars for two simple reasons.. First because it is a first novel by the writer Eowyen Ivey, an Alaska resident! and second because it is simply amazing. I wouldn't deny that the slow paced clichéd beginning of the book was a little off-putting at first but as you keep on reading the writer conveys the complex internal conflicts of the protagonist, Mable and the people around her in very interesting ways. The struggles of the poor old childless couple, the mistreatment by family, acceptance and love by the strangers, all mixed up with a plot based on Snegurka (a Russian fairy tale) in a cold 1920 Alaskan setting is commendable.

My favorite character in the book is Faina. A mysterious free spirited young girl who spends her entire life in the snow capped mountains. It is very surprising to find all the conversations of Faina in a passive voice as if the author is still trying to make the character more mysterious. The beauty of the book lies in the way the author has ended the book.. Open to interpretation.

-- 06 Jan 2015, 20:57 --
gali wrote: I rated the book 3 out of 4 stars due to his weak ending. One mystery (the mystery of Faina) remains unsolved to the end and I would have liked some closure on that. . All in all, it was still an interesting, enjoyable read. The author spins a magical tale and I enjoyed it greatly. I would certainly recommend the book.
The whole beauty of the book lies in the way it has ended. I felt the same way upon finishing up the book, squirming in anger and disbelief but I finally realized that the ending would've been very commonplace if the author wrote what the readers were expecting! The mysterious ending of the book is what makes it all more bizarre and gripping!

User avatar
Valrose
Posts: 31
Joined: 05 Dec 2014, 14:56
Bookshelf Size: 0
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-valrose.html

Post by Valrose »

I can't decide which aspect of the novel the Snow Child I like best. The beautiful language and images of Alaska, the magical fairy tale that unfolds, the believable characters, the factual historical setting, or the questions raised about relationships and how to best deal with pain and sorrow. Fantastic novel.

Post Reply

Return to “"The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivey”