The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

The Snow Child


Based on the recommendation of a friend and my need to complete the category regarding “based on a fairy tale” for my book challenge, I read and enjoyed The Snow Child (B) by Eowyn Ivey.

The Snow Child is based on the Russian fairy tale of the snow maiden. One snowy night, an elderly, childless couple builds a snow girl from the freshly fallen snow. In the morning only a child’s footsteps remain where the snow child stood. Throughout the cold and snowy winter, they have frequent visits from her. She is often seen with a silver fox that acts very much like her pet following her wherever she goes. She is gone once the snows melt only to return with the first snow of the new winter. Once the silver fox is killed the snow maiden never returns.

Mabel and Jack are homesteaders in Alaska. They were drawn there after their only child was stillborn. Seeking solitude, they attempt to begin a farm on the cold and barren land. One snowy night, they too build a snow child and much like the fairy tale they believe they have created a living girl child.

Ivey draws upon this story to create a magical tale of her own. She clearly depicts the brutality of the Alaskan winters while portraying the tender and heartwarming moments between the child and the barren couple. Is it real? Is it imagination? Only the reader can decide.

This very unique story consumed me for several days. At times I was wishing it were totally true and then I’d believe it was all make believe. It certainly piqued my curiosity. All in all, I am glad I had the opportunity to read it. While it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read; it certainly was the most different. So, therefore, I would recommend it as change of pace read. Touch your inner child with this one.


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