Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Friday, February 3, 2012

Debut Spotlight: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child

Read an excerpt fromThe Snow Child onBiblio Files
In Eowyn Ivey's magical debut novel The Snow Child, a couple creates a child out of snow. When she appears on their doorstep as a little girl, wild and secretive, their lives are changed forever.
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for a couple who have never been able to conceive. Jack and Mabel are drifting apart—he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone, but they catch sight of an elusive, blonde-haired 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, skims lightly across the snow, and leaves blizzards in her wake. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who seems to have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in the Alaska wilderness, life and death are inextricable, and what they eventually learn about Faina changes their lives forever.
Eowyn was inspired to write the novel after she discovered the classic Russian fairy tale of the snow maiden. She was shelving books in the children's section of Fireside Books when she happened across a copy of Freya Littledale's retelling of the fairy tale with illustrations by Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee. The story haunted Eowyn with its loneliness and magic in a landscape so similar to the one she grew up in. She spent the next few months researching the original tale, and depictions of it in Russian art work, before she began writing.
The Snow Child has been described as a "remarkable achievement", "stunningly conceived" and "enchanting from beginning to end."

About this author

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. 


  1. I'm hearing great things about this book!

  2. This sounds really good! Are you reading it?

  3. This one sounds kind of fascinating. What a different kind of concept for a book. And I like that it's based on a fairy tale. I'll have to look this one up.

  4. This sounds so interesting! Thanks for telling me more about it!

  5. I love fairy tales and this one looks wonderful!

  6. I have put this one on hold at the library, and can't wait for it to come in! You make it sound so wonderful, and since I love a good fairy tale retelling, this one appeals to me greatly. Wonderful spotlight today!

  7. Awww, this sounds like such a cool book! I absolutely LOVE fairy tale re-tellings, and even though I haven't read this classic Russian one before, I really, really want to! From the synopsis alone, I just know I'm going to adore it! :)

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Mrs. Q! I love finding out about sweet new debut novels! :)

  8. I'm loving the sound of this book! The trailer is so beautiful! Thanks for your great review!

  9. I have this book on my list and am eager to crack the spine.

  10. Readers are raving about this book--I can't wait to read it.

  11. This sounds fantastic. I hope it lives up to its blurb.

  12. Soooo excited by this one. I hope to start reading it very soon. I love that it is set in Alaska and it just sounds so beautiful.

    Irene Jennings of Tony Lama Mens Boots

  13. I loved the gorgeous writing, an I loved the young author's perceptiveness about the changes in a relationship of an older couple. But I agree the fairy tale/versus not was a bit confusing!

    Dwayne Johnston (Seattle DUI Attorneys)