9780316175661

THE SNOW CHILD

Eowyn Ivey

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he struggling to maintain the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods.

more …

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he struggling to maintain the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel come to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they begin to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent territory things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform them all.

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Paperback

Price: $14.99

ISBN: 9780316175661

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About Eowyn Ivey

Eowyn LeMay Ivey was raised in Alaska and continues to live there with her husband and two daughters. She received her BA in journalism and minor in creative writing through the honors program at Western Washington University, studied creative nonfiction at the University of Alaska Anchorage graduate program, and worked for nearly 10 years as an award-winning reporter at the Frontiersman newspaper. This is her first novel.

Praise

“If Willa Cather and Gabriel García Marquéz had collaborated on a book, The Snow Child would be it.”Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife

“…an enchanting, transporting tale. It places the reader at the juncture of Russian fairy tale and hard reality in the isolated wilderness of Alaska. The novel bewitched me…”Sena Jeter Naslund, Ahab's Wife

Discussion Questions

When Mabel first arrives in Alaska, it seems a bleak and lonely place to her. Does her sense of the land change over time? If so, how?

Why are Jack and Mabel emotionally estranged from each other in the beginning of the novel, and how are they able to overcome that?

How do Esther Benson and Mabel differ in temperament, and how does their friendship change Mabel?

The first time Garrett sees Faina in person is when he spies her killing a wild swan. What is the significance of this scene?

In what ways does Faina represent the Alaska wilderness?

Jack and Mabel?s only child is stillborn. How does this affect Mabel?s relationship with Faina?

When Jack is injured, Esther and Garret move to their farm to help them. How does this alter Jack and Mabel?s relationship?

Much of Jack and Mabel?s sorrow comes from not having a family of their own, and yet they leave their extended family behind to move to Alaska. By the end of the novel, has their sense of family changed? Who would they consider a part of their family?

Death comes in many forms in The Snow Child, including Mabel giving birth to a stillborn infant, Jack shooting a moose, Faina slaying a swan, the fox killing a wild bird, Jack and Mabel slaughtering their chickens, and Garrett shooting the fox. Why is this one of the themes of the book and what is the author trying to say about death?

What do you believe happened to Faina in the end? Who was she?

Read “Creating Personal Miracles” by Reading Group Choices' Neely Kennedy for discussible topics and themes!