Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Snow Child
By Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child is a powerful and poignant debut from an extraordinary new talent. The story is based on a Russian fairytale of a child formed from snow by an old couple who cannot have any children. Eowyn Ivey transplants the tale to the Alaskan frontier of the 1920s. The book tells the tale of a lonely couple attempting to survive and farm in harsh and cold conditions. The setting of the novel is as real and alive as the characters; a pulsating presence which takes form in the snow child which Jack and Mabel create together. The book is filled with magic and yet it never shies from dramatising the harsh cruelty of frontier life. As I read it I shivered with cold and felt the snow on my skin as the Alaskan wilderness came alive before my eyes. Eowyn Ivey is an astonishingly powerful writer who deserves to win prizes. (Headline Review €16.50)

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