It’s spitting snow today with our thermometer shivering at 27 degrees (-2.8 C). It’s hard to ponder going outside. North wind cuts through flimsy autumn jackets, demanding winter garb.
My friend Emma recommended The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Just started lapping up the words and paragraphs last night, mesmerized by stark white descriptions of an aging couple living in Alaska in the 1920′s.
Here’s the book description: Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.
This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
I haven’t read beyond Page 80, so can’t determine if I’ll like the book or if it shall end “happily ever after” but am fascinated by the Fairy Tale child-fox sprinting in the trees of imagination, in the landscape of hope and possibility.
Speaking of magical, would you like to listen to one of my all-time favorite songs? Prepare to be transported into this White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. The video is pure delight!