Wolverine River, Alaska, 1920
Mabel had known there would be silence. That was the point, after all.
Magical realism meets absolute reality in this quiet, lyrical tale of a lonely homesteading couple in Alaska, circa 1920. Mabel and Jack have come to Alaska to leave behind the grief of a miscarriage, their one chance at children that went wrong. One night, they build a child out of snow, adding scarf and mittens. The next day, they see a young girl, wearing those garments, darting behind trees, accompanied by a fox. Gradually they befriend Faina, who bit by bit reveals enough facts about her life so that they are reassured she is in fact human. The reader, however, is never quite sure about Faina, who seems unearthly despite a corporeal presence. Ivey captures the deep silence of forests in snow, the startling power of Alaska’s frenetic growing season, the subtle changes in relationships over long years and heavy losses and the beauty of accepting those we love instead of trying to change them. Mabel is an artist, and Ivey must be, too, for her descriptions revel in color and texture. Fairytale-based but firmly rooted in the beautiful, harsh Alaska environment, Ivey will appeal to readers of Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman and Donna Jo Napoli. This is an excellent title to offer to older teens.
Check the BPL catalog for this title: The Snow Child