The Snow Child summary: The Richard and Judy Bestseller

The Snow Child summary: The Richard and Judy Bestseller

The Snow Child summary by Zeyn Joukhadar (Author)

The Snow Child revolves around a Russian fairy tale – about a snow girl “Snegurochka” – roughly translated Snow Maiden. A girl half-snow and half human leads us to the opening of the book.

The story takes place in the cold cold Alaska in the year 1920. Not much different from Alaska today, they place is too brutal to be called home. For Jack and Mabel, a married couple that are unable to conceive a child. The whirlwinds from the outside and inside drift them apart. Day by day, they grow more and more unhappy, of each other and of the weight of grief.

While Mabel crumbles down from her own despair and loneliness, Jack ploughs away in the backbreaker of farm life. In a moment of buoyancy in the first snow, the couple builds themselves a child made of snow – just like the children would. In the morning after, the snowchild is no where to be found, instead there is a young, blonde-haired girl evinced in the woods. Running through the forest, the girl is named Faina.

With a red fox of her side, the girl skillfully glides through the snow, hunts for food with the aide of a red fox, and survives all by her own amidst the cruelness of Alaskan nature. Longing for a bond that could bind them together, Jack and Mabel takes her in as their own daughter and begins a a new page of life that resembles a fairy tale.


First released in 2012, the story has remained a huge page-turner for its allure and fascination. Making the readers invested emotionally from the first pages. The plot is mixed with history, and built around the difficult homestead in the base of Alaska. All emotions are evoked, sadness, chill, mystery, magical, all the while so relatable. 

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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. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Snow Child. Review

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
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.


"If Willa Cather and Gabriel Garcia Marquez had collaborated on a book, THE SNOW CHILD would be it. It is a remarkable accomplishment -- a combination of the most delicate, ethereal, fairytale magic and the harsh realities of homesteading in the Alaskan wilderness in 1918. Stunningly conceived, beautifully told, this story has the intricate fragility of a snowflake and the natural honesty of the dirt beneath your feet, the unnerving reality of a dream in the night. It fascinates, it touches the heart. It gallops along even as it takes time to pause at the wonder of life and the world in which we live. And it will stir you up and stay with you for a long, long time."
Robert Goolrick, New York Times bestselling author of A Reliable Wife

"THE SNOW CHILD is enchanting from beginning to end. Ivey breathes life into an old tale and makes it as fresh as the season' s first snow. Simply lovely."
Keith Donohue, New York Times bestselling author of The Stolen Child

"A transporting tale . . . an amazing achievement."
Sena Jeter Naslund, New York Times bestselling author of Ahab's Wife

"THE SNOW CHILD is a vivid story of isolation and hope on the Alaska frontier, a narrative of struggle with the elements and the elemental conflict between one's inner demons and dreams, and the miracle of human connection and community in a spectacular, dangerous world. You will not soon forget this story of learning to accept the gifts that fate and love can bring."Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek

"Eowyn Ivey's exquisite debut transports the reader away to a world almost out of time, into a fairytale destined to both chill and delight. Her portrayal of an untamed Alaska is so detailed you can feel the snowflakes on your own eyelashes, even as her characters' desperate quest for, and ultimate redemption by, love will warm your heart."
Melanie Benjamin, author of Alice I Have Been

"Magical, yes, but THE SNOW CHILD is also satisfyingly realistic in its depiction of 1920s homestead-era Alaska and the people who settled there, including an older couple bound together by resilient love. Eowyn Ivey's poignant debut novel grabbed me from the very first pages and made me wish we had more genre-defying Alaska novels like this one. Inspired by a fairy tale, it nonetheless contains more depth and truth than so many books set in this land of extremes."
Andromeda Romano-Lax, author of The Spanish Bow

"This book is real magic, shot through from cover to cover with the cold, wild beauty of the Alaskan frontier. Eowyn Ivey writes with all the captivating delicacy of the snowfalls she so beautifully describes."
Ali Shaw, author of The Girl with Glass Feet

"Long winters come alive in Ivey's novel about 1920s-era homesteaders in Alaska."
Tina JordanNew York Times --This text refers to the hardcover edition.