If you haven't read a good book in awhile or even if you have and you want to read an outstanding story, this is it!!
This story.......grabbed my attention, held it and is still in my mind.
I wasn't sure if I'd like it as it seemed a little too "fantasy".
But...it is amazing!
It's 1920 in Alaska. In the wilds of Alaska.......where a couple, Jack and Mabel, who are from Pennsylvania are hoping to successfully homestead a farm. They are lonely and drifting apart. They have been childless and have really wanted a baby. The one time that Mabel got pregnant, the baby was born dead. That was 10 years ago! They decided to move out west to Alaska to build a new life. One day the snow begins to fall for the first time that season, and they build a snow child! They begin to laugh and play like when they were younger and happier. That night they go to bed with the snow child in their yard. They had added mittens and a scarf.
In the morning, the snow child is gone! But they see a little girl running through the trees.
The little girl calls herself Faina. She seems to be a woods child. She goes hunting with a fox by her side and she somehow survives, alone, in the Alaskan wilderness.
Jack and Mabel soon come to love her like their own daughter. They begin to understand her. It seems as though she has stepped out of the pages of a fairy tale! Their neighbors, George and Ethel do not believe them when they speak of the little girl. They think Mabel is suffering from "cabin fever" or is delusional.
In the beautiful, wild territory of Alaska, things are not always what they appear. What they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
This story is just amazing. It is written by a woman (Eowyn Ivey) who was raised in Alaska and lives there now with her husband and 2 daughters. She works in a small bookstore and in the back of the book she talks about finding a Russian fairy tale called The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka). My youngest daughter Claire takes Russian and is in her first year Regents class (2nd year of Russian studies) and says her teacher has spoken of this fairy tale. Apparently the story inspired a play with music by Tchaikovsky and a ballet that was performed in St Petersburg in the late 1800s. Of course Claire, (who is totally into Russian AND ballet) and I are now going to research this ballet!
The story in this novel form is very intriguing. It has a little of everything: love, death, marriage, perpetual childhood, happiness, sadness, birth, loss.
It brings with it a sense of hope and a definite sense of magic.
Is Faina a real person? is she a fairy? is she a snow child brought to life??
Where does she go in the summer?? Will they ever see her again??
Is she real?
Read the story and draw your own conclusions!
I highly recommend this book and think it's appropriate for ages 12 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.
Loved it....it will stick with me for a long time.