Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart from the weight of the work and the loneliness. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, it is gone -- but they find a young, blonde-haired girl who calls herself Faina, and seems to be a child of the woods...
Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2012: In her haunting, evocative debut Eowyn Ivey stakes her claim on a Russian fairy tale, daring the reader--and the characters--to be lulled into thinking they know the ending. But, as with the Alaskan wilderness, there’s far more here than meets the eye. On the surface it’s the story of a childless pioneer couple running from their East Coast lives and struggling to survive in the harshest of climates while also attempting to reconnect with each other; but it’s also the story of the spring of hope that bubbles out of new friendships, of the slow realization of love for a surrogate child, of the ties between man and nature. Ivey spares no words in describing the beauty and the danger of her native Alaska, bringing the sheer magnitude of the wilderness alive on every page. With the transparent prose of a fairy tale and descriptions to put nature writing to shame, The Snow Child immerses readers in a 1920s Alaska that will draw them back again and again. -- Malissa Kent