Mabel and Jack moved to Alaska for a new start after they lost their baby. in the bleak, wintry landscape life is hard but they’re given a spark of love when they see a mysterious girl. Yet none of their neighbours know of this child, and Mabel starts to think there’s something magical about her.
The Snow Child is inspired by a Russian fairytale, and Ivey uses this in the story, which works well as it foreshadows some of the developments in the plot but it also serves as a way to show how fiction can differ from life. The characters are interesting and Ivey gets a lot of mileage from the winter surroundings, although I do think that some material could have been cut from the story as at 400 pages it does seem a little long.
One technique I really liked is that whenever Faina (the snow child) speaks, it’s never in speech marks. This gives the character a detached feeling, as though she is otherworldly, and it adds to the atmosphere that Ivey is aiming for. However, I do think more could have been done to tie the fairytale in with the main story.
Overall I enjoyed the book, although it’s not one that completely blew me away.