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Goodreads review:  2 out of 5 stars

snowchildIn The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, Jack and Mabel are homesteaders in 1920’s Alaska.  They are an older couple unable have children of their own, and they are drifting apart.

This was not an uplifting story.  It starts out with Mabel trying to commit suicide by walking out on the ice which might crack underneath her and sweep her away to her death.  She is depressed and full of despair.  The story is patterned after an old folk tale.  The couple builds a child out of snow, and she comes to life (or Mabel thinks she did). It had hints of the paranormal – the girl can make it snow by lifting her hands, she’s otherworldly, she disappears during the summer, etc.  I think I would have preferred that the story be left that way – where you wonder whether or not if she’s real or a fairy of some sort, and you are left wondering.  The story did explain who she was, though, and I’m not sure that part of the story was necessary.

What I also did not like about the story were the violent parts.  There are a lot of animal/hunting-related deaths. I know in 1920’s Alaska no one ran to the grocery store to pick up a steak; they hunted.  I still don’t like reading about animals being killed or dying.

I didn’t care for the ending of the story either, but I won’t give that away here.