Online Reading Challenge – March Wrap-Up

Hello Fellow Challenge Readers!

How did your reading go this month? Did you read something set in the 1920s & 1930s that you enjoyed? Share in the comments!

I read our main title: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. This is the author’s debut novel published in 2012.

Needing a change, Jack and Mabel move to Alaska in 1920. It’s a rough life, full of long days, loneliness, and despair. The move pushes the two further apart as Jack works long hours on the farm and Mabel is left alone in their cabin. Wanting some normalcy during the season’s first snowfall, the two craft a child out of snow, both adding bits of themselves to their creation. The next morning, they are shocked to see that their snow child has been destroyed with a trail of tiny footprints leading into the forest. They glimpse a young, blond-haired girl flitting through the trees, wearing the hat and mittens that they decorated their snow child with. The girl named Faina inserts herself more and more into Jack and Mabel’s life, becoming part of their family. She never seems to truly belong with them though, instead preferring the snow and woods and life beyond their homestead. She has survived alone all these years, but that doesn’t stop Jack and Mabel from worrying. The more comfortable the three become with each other, the more they realize just how much they don’t know about Faina. Alaska may be beautiful, but the land holds violence right alongside that beauty. Their peace could shatter at any moment, something they would be wise to remember.

I procrastinated starting this book and honestly, I’m not sure why. It was such an easy, beautiful read. The Snow Child is a love story to Alaska and to the people living there. It’s full of immense joy and devastating sorrow. Eowyn Ivey is a master storyteller, weaving magic and realism together in such a way that at times I couldn’t tell the difference between the two. I felt like I was in Alaska with Mabel and Jack, struggling alongside them as they worked to get their homestead functioning and sustainable. The winters were breathtakingly cold and sparkling while the summers were sticky, clouded with mosquitoes, and full of their desperate attempts to prepare enough for the coming winter. The mountains towered over all with lush trees and wildlife running through, full of danger and promise. Ivey doesn’t shy away from showing the cruelness of Alaska and the hardness of life for people who choose to live there. It’s important not to forget the pockets of beauty that can be found though. All in all, this was a magical read full of wonder – one I’m glad I chose to read for this month’s challenge.

Next month, we are traveling to the 1940s.

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