The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
…The back story, why they were in Alaska to begin with was heartbreaking. Know that it isn’t a quick story, rather it’s slow and filled with emotions that could be hard and then soft then funny then good. The story stretches over a pretty long period … and in this period, I saw how each of them grew with each other and grew accustomed to things.
…That it really was the fresh start she was looking for. And against this new backdrop, I saw how they got to know each other, the place and then people. Questions of purpose: it’s likely one of the main things I grabbed me about Mabel. She was listless; but that he seemed nailed to what he thought one ought to be responsible for, limited both of them. But with circumstance calling for a change, she seemed “allowed” a bigger purpose. And with that was a change in her outlook and in how she felt. This shift practically jumped at me from the pages.
Prior to that, I was simply plodding along with her, curious to see what others would think of this woman, who I took to be odd at first. But she’s so much more than odd or pensive or thoughtful or whatever. I suppose what I’m trying to say is her mood affected my own. When she was listless, bored, sad… I felt it. The change in goings on, kicked things up a notch. I felt for her; I felt with her.
…What Jack was afraid of. There’s a point in this when he voices what he fears out: that he’d gone mad, that they’d both gone mad. And because of the same, nothing is admitted. It was odd and sad, how happy they could be for a short time then sadder still how their life seemed on pause without the girl in it. On pause. Their life, or at least the highs and lows of their feelings went on pause without her in the picture.
…The people. How they’re each all the other has. Take how Esther would tut-tut over what she saw as Mabel’s sadness. Yet despite the same, Esther was always there. And later, Garrett who starts out as this precocious boy standing apart from the rest knowing who he was, what he liked and what he wanted to be; later growing into this man proud in what he’s done and confident in his abilities.
…That ending, which still has me split. It’s happy and sad, but truthfully… expected. Ada’s letters of making one’s own endings makes me want to do the same. I’d have loved for all of them to have gotten what they wanted. It broke me hear a little.
It’s a beautifully told story.
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