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
67%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
10
26%
 
Total votes: 39

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Heather
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Re: Overall Rating and Opinion of "The Snow Child"

Post by Heather » 08 Jan 2015, 20:28

I wasn't expecting to like this story as much as I did. I had trouble putting it down. I just had to find out what/who Faina really was! I kept guessing all along... was she really a child made from snow? Was she going to melt just like Frosty? And then came the part with her father, so I figured she must be real (at this point my husband, who I kept telling all about the story, suggested she may be a ghost...), but what about the snow not melting on her skin, and snow that she appeared to be able to conjure on her own (which, I have to admit, had both myself and my husband thinking of Elsa from Frozen), or the fact that she overheated so very easily? But we never really find out do we? And I think that really added to the book... the feeling of mystery was there until the very end.

So, when I finished and closed the book, I looked at my husband and said, "Well, she wasn't a ghost." He asked what she was. My answer -- a fairy tale.
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Post by Moribund » 09 Jan 2015, 07:20

hnardi8 wrote:
So, when I finished and closed the book, I looked at my husband and said, "Well, she wasn't a ghost." He asked what she was. My answer -- a fairy tale.
I really appreciate this observation. If I don't interject as much realism to the story and read it as a fairytale it really starts to come alive in a different way. In this way then we are really dealing with a retelling of the same Russian fairytale that Mabel has in her hands. "A story in a story". Cool.

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Heather
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Post by Heather » 09 Jan 2015, 09:08

Moribund wrote:I really appreciate this observation. If I don't interject as much realism to the story and read it as a fairytale it really starts to come alive in a different way. In this way then we are really dealing with a retelling of the same Russian fairytale that Mabel has in her hands. "A story in a story". Cool.
Exactly! I don't think you can enjoy this if you expect it to follow the rules of real life. Yet, at the same time, it seems to be a more detailed, real-life telling of the Russian fairy tale. The more I think about and discuss this story this story, the more I like it.
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Post by Fran » 09 Jan 2015, 09:45

hnardi8 wrote:So, when I finished and closed the book, I looked at my husband and said, "Well, she wasn't a ghost." He asked what she was. My answer -- a fairy tale.
Agree - it's a fairy tale not a detective story & IMO when you read it with that in mind it is a beautiful story and it pulls you in wanting to know who the snow child is & where does she go when the snow melts and spring arrives?
It reminded me of all the fairy tales I read as a child and the urge to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next.
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
- My Home by Clive James

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Heather
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Post by Heather » 09 Jan 2015, 19:32

Fran wrote:Agree - it's a fairy tale not a detective story & IMO when you read it with that in mind it is a beautiful story and it pulls you in wanting to know who the snow child is & where does she go when the snow melts and spring arrives?
It reminded me of all the fairy tales I read as a child and the urge to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next.
For awhile I wondered if she was winter itself, and that's why she had to disappear when winter left. :)
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Post by ananya92 » 10 Jan 2015, 22:12

I read the book quite recently and the author has crafted the emotion of loss and fear very well in the book. It really made one feel the fear of the loss. Also, the element of suspense in a background like a fairy tale was well done. However I didn't like the ending so much, it seemed rather rushed compared to the rest of the book.

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Post by Jenie » 12 Jan 2015, 22:10

Valrose wrote: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.
My feelings exactly. The Snow Child is a beautiful story. I was so engrossed in it, I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the magic of Faina. There were some lessons I even picked up from it to use in life. It is definitely a must read for everyone.
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Post by PashaRu » 12 Jan 2015, 22:29

Still need to read it! I better not read too much, no spoilers!
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Post by HoneyB » 14 Jan 2015, 22:49

My rating was 4 stars. I enjoyed reading the book. A bit slow initially, but well worth sticking with it. *spoiler* I didn't like Mabel's attempt on the ice, but glad she lived through it to have felt all of that love around her again. I liked the way the author kept you guessing if Faina was real or a fairy tale creature all the way to the end. I chose to think of her as a fairy tale.

Great book for anyone. (I think the highest ratings will come from females since it was a female author.)
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Post by A P Bullard » 16 Jan 2015, 22:58

I have only heard great things about The Snow Child, but am unable to purchase a new book this month (Thanks, holidays!) I hope to get to read it, eventually, though. I've heard it's engaging, and really hard to put down.
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Post by TammyO » 17 Jan 2015, 08:22

The Snow Child was an incredible book. Also, this was a perfect title for this book. It completely grasps the overall theme. I enjoyed the author's 1920's Alaskan backdrop as well. The sadness that was conveyed throughout the pages of the book was contagious. I was especially drawn to Mabel and her plight. Like others have said, the fairy tale aspect made it even more enjoyable for me. The beginning was somewhat slow. However, I still really enjoyed the overall book.It was a very touching and thought provoking novel that will stay with me for awhile. I would definitely recommend it to others. My rating is 3 out of 4 stars.
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Post by HMJones » 17 Jan 2015, 17:12

I really enjoyed 'The Snow Child', even if I found the snow child in question trying. The writer's use of language was stunning, her invocation of colour and nature was fascinating and the development and shift of the relationship between Mabel and Jack and, in fact, all of the characters was so well crafted I entirely believed that these were people, these were their emotions and reactions and desires.
Sometimes when you read a book, you have to put it down for a second because the voice in your head, shouting, "No one would react like that!", is just too loud. That never happened with this novel. The characters were utterly believable, their emotions were real - to them and to me, and the way they interacted was entirely realistic. They never really seemed created to me.
However, if there was one draw back to this novel, it probably lies in the end. In a sort of 'Hunger Games'/'Harry Potter' was that's really popular, the reader's given this little extract just to prove that everything is good in the world. All the strings are tied up or whatever the phrase is and all the characters are content - if not happy. The childless couple now have a pseudo grandchild who calls them 'papa' and 'maime' and Garret stares at the wolverine he had hunted, that had him to Faine, but doesn't kill it. It's all very neat and you get the impression that we're supposed to be content with the lack of resolution over Faine, the mismatch of her tragic, but entirely human past and these hints of strange fairytale powers.
But lets end this on a good note. I would recommend this book to a lot of people. One of the features that stuck out at me was the mirroring used: the lake walked and then skated on, the scarf put on the snowgirl and pulled off the woman, the snow constantly used to mirror and remake past events. It was amazing to see these familiar symbols winding through the book. And this harks back to Ivey's focus on nature. The description of the bubbles and cracks in the ice as Mabel walked over the lake still stick with me, even though they skate over that lake happily later in the book.

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Post by SharisseEM » 18 Jan 2015, 02:10

This is a wonderfully beautiful and heartbreaking read. I cried. Not afraid to admit it. Books that make me bawl are pretty rare to find. The descriptions of setting is amazing. I really felt the pain of the characters. It took days to finish due to my hectic schedule and I lost sleep reading this but it was worth it. So hard to put down. An unresolved ending usually annoys the hell out of me when it's such a great read but this one was different because of everything the characters have been through so it only added to the mysterious beauty of the book.
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Post by aaa1234 » 18 Jan 2015, 14:13

I would have given the book a 4 out of 4 but the terrible ending made me change it to a 3 which I think is best for the book. The book is set in Alaska, America's largest state which I think is a perfect setting for the novel. The novel makes me feel as though I have been there before and this is one of the skills the author has. I would recommend this book to anyone in secondary school or above and you must read it before you make any judgements. You may have totally different opinions of the book which is fine with me and please tell me them if you can. Any authors who would wish me to review their book is welcome.

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Post by Norma_Rudolph » 18 Jan 2015, 22:25

Finally looks like I may have some time to read. Looking forward to this book. Just reserved it at the library.
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