Fancie Bookclub – The Snow Child

Well, this is a bit of a well timed post given that it’s World Book Day. Last night was bookclub night at Fancie – as always it was a wonderful evening of cake and book chat and last night was the biggest turn out yet! Well done Sarah

Our read this month was The Snow Child by Eowyn IveyThe boy’s mum bought it me by coincidence for Christmas, as she had read it and thought I would love it too and I love a recommendation like that.  But oh my, oh my, oh my, I don’t know where to start with this book. From the cover to the very last page it was just beautiful. It is one of those books that you just can’t put down, but at the same time don’t want to read because you don’t want it to end.
The story follows Mabel and Jack, an older couple who have moved to the harsh reality of the Alaskan wilderness to set up a farm in 1920. They are childless, which Mabel believes is her fault for not loving their unborn child enough when she was pregnant. They live a pretty solitary existence, besides the, at first unwanted visits, from their neighbours, and it is clear this solitude is a necessary escape for them. One evening, at the first snowfall that year, make a little snow child. She is given hair and a smile and eye’s and to top it off, scarf and gloves. The next morning the snowchild is
gone. Destroyed. In her place is a young girl, Fainia, who lives and hunts in the forest with her fox cub. Mabel is reminded of an old Russian fairy tale of Snegurochka her father used to read her about a little snow child, made from love and sent to a family, much like theirs but knowing the ending of the story she just can’t bring herself to look at the last pages, or begin to imagine a the eventual fate of Fainia. We follow the struggle Mabel and Jack face to not only survive in the bleak winters of
Alaska, but also to accept this little girl who arrives with the winters. Somehow the bleak Alaskan landscape comes alive to be almost another character in the book – and even sounded a little romantic (but maybe that’s just my need to escape at the moment – or that I read it in the mountains)

I thought maybe, as I knew from twitter that the general consensus was people had enjoyed the book, we wouldn’t have a good discussion, but the slightly magical elements proved a little contentious, as did the discussion about the relationships between Jack, Mabel and Fainia and then with their neighbours. We also somehow got onto the stories of a cat eating a Chihuahua and also bringing rabbits into the house as ‘presents’. Delightful.

Have you read The Snow Child? I’d love to know what you thoughts are. And next month we’re tackling J.K Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy – which I am really not looking forwards to – I can’t say why though, so if anyone wants to change my mind – feel free.  

And if you’re in Sheffield and want to join a book club, Sarah is setting up a second Fancie Bookclub evening – get in touch with her on Twitter or search #Fanciebookclub


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