Wednesday, 5 December 2012

You Really Must Read The Snow Child by Eowen Ivey!

Eowyn Ivey was named after Éowen a 'shieldmaiden' in The Lord of the Rings. She's so glad that they made the films so everyone knows at last how her name is pronounced - rather like Ay-wun! Now you know that, you must read her first novel,  The Snow Child
I caught up with her on Monday at The Wallingford Bookshop, where she had come all the way from Alaska to sign copies for waiting fans. A bookseller, herself, she was on a mission to visit several bookshops on her 'Snow Day', although at 9.30 am it had only just stopped raining! But as she drove along, she listened to Christmas CDs and Alison, who runs the shop, provided mince pies and other Christmas nibbles.
Now, back to the book itself, the quotes on the cover call it 'Spellbinding' and 'Enchanting', and I have to agree.
It's a fairy story for adults, though I think that young adults would enjoy it too, based on the traditional tale of  Snegudrochka or Little Daughter of the Snow as told by Arthur Ransome in Old Peter's Russian Tales.
In the story, an older couple, unable to have any children, build a little girl in the snow who comes to life.
Eowyn tells this story with beautiful imagery about the barren Alaskan winter, reflecting poor Mabel's sadness at losing a baby, and the joy she and Jack feel when the little girl, who they call Faina, comes into their lives. There are also their neighbours, the warm and friendly, Esther and George, and their son, Garrett, who helps Mabel and Jack, and becomes like a son to them, but who has an impact on the way the story turns out.
It's quite funny that in the first drafts of Gipsy Moth, I also had a childless couple called Mabel and Jack, although I did write Jack out in the end. So in a way I felt quite familiar with them, even if they lived in Devon and not Alaska!
As I said it's a beautiful story, one that I could not put down. A beautiful read for the Christmas holidays, or indeed as a special present for a friend. I loved it!


  1. Thanks for mentioning this book, Jean, as it's at the top of the list of those I defintely want to read!

  2. Thanks, Rosemary, I think you'll like it. In many ways it reminds me of Summer of the Eagles!

  3. My friend just gave me a loan of this book - looking forward to starting it!