I am participating with Ricki Jill's from Art @ Home , weekly party Literary Friday. I know I am a day late but I still want to join in.
I have put off writing this review for awhile now. It took some time for me to actually get into the book and I am glad I stuck with it. The author Eowyn Ivey did a wonderful job with the characters in this book and if it were not for the developed characters I may have not completed the book because the beginning did not capture my attention. With that said, it did get better and I enjoyed this book. I could tell it was going to have a sad ending right away and maybe I was having problems with it because I was reading it while my Dad was dieing, so to be honest my mood could have played a huge factor in the beginning. The main characters are Mabel and Jack, who are an aging couple who have decided to move to the Alaska Wilderness and give it a good ol' try to begin a new life. They, like so many, did struggle to get by mainly because it was just the two of them as well as the harsh environment. Jack felt he should be the provider and do all the farming and clearing the land. Mabel was in hopes this would be a new chance in life to be together and feel she had meaning. Their struggles with the new way of life and their aging is just the first layer of their pain and suffering. The two have never been able to move past the loss of their still born baby which became the first ripple in the pond to tear them a part. I was so touched and saddened for the two of them, how they never discussed their loss. I know I could not have made it through (and I still am) grieving for my Dad without my husband's support and some great friends. My heart ached for both of these characters.
Even though the book is full of sadness, you also get to see love and how wounds can heal. The two characters are blessed with a snow child. Mabel and Jack build a child out of the snow on a winter's night and discover their snow child is gone the next morning with a single trail of footsteps leading away from where it had stood. Then they begin to see a young girl roaming the woods, one who is identical to their snow child and they see it as an opportunity to maybe finally have the child they always wanted. The little girl, Faina, is a child of the woods. She is able to take care of herself with her friend a red fox. She glides across the snow. They become somewhat of a family. Mabel realized her new child was like a fairy tale she once read when she was a child and worried how the ending may come about in her real life.
Mabel and Jack also become friends with a family who have a few boys. Typically Mabel cannot be friends with women she has found since the loss of her baby, but she finds strength with the Esther and enjoys being around her. I found Esther to be very charming. I just loved her personality.
This book is an Adult Fairy Tale, it does have a dark side and is you are down, I would suggest holding off to read, but it is definitely a book worth reading.