Myth, magic and moose!

  • Book: The Snow Child
  • Location: Alaska
  • Author: Eowyn Ivey



This is a retelling of the traditional Russian folk tale, so it is not for the surprise ending that I would urge anyone to read this book, but rather for the glorious prose, which perfectly evokes time and place – Alaska in the 1920s. The characters are beautifully drawn – it is a small cast, but each time we are introduced to someone, eking out a living in one of the most challenging environments imaginable, we want to understand everything about them. We can hear every plodding step of the poor plough horse as he tries to break the hard ground and we can see the steaming innards of the moose, shot to provide food for a long winter of snow and darkness. We can feel the cold creeping through the log cabin walls and we can taste the wild cranberries, foraged from the frozen forest. It is a book that stays with the reader for a long time after the snow child has done what we know she will do. I loved immersing myself in the lives of those brave pioneers and I also loved the feeling of joy that came with the realisation, once finished, that I wouldn’t have to kill and skin a fox to make my winter hat!

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