Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: "The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivey

This is a very strange pick for one of the three finalists for this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  Usually, the books picked for this award have at least some notoriety, but this kind of slipped under the raider for me last year. I had heard about Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child last year through Bookmarks Magazine, and from the reviews that I saw did not make it out to be something that would receive as big of a reward as the Pulitzer. It looked like it had the potential to be a big sleeper hit, but not a Pulitzer. When I heard it had been nominated, I broke down and bought it, and have to say that, in the reading of The Snow Child, I still don’t see why it was in contention for a big award. It’s not terrible, just somewhat bland and ineffective at what it is trying to do. It has honest emotions and is well thought out, I just felt the narrative had little clue as to where it was going, and no pull on my interest to match the pull on my heartstrings. It has a cool premise, where a couple, Mable and Jack in 1920’s Alaska is slowly and forcibly moving toward middle age childless. They run a convenience store, and do truly love each other, but the wear and tear of broken dreams is taking its toll. In a cute gesture, they build a little girl out of the snow, and playfully treat it as their own. When a little girl starts appearing around their property, killing foxes and interacting with another young boy, things take a bizarre turn. I really did not know where this book was dragging me. While the emotions are genuine, and it’s clear that Mable and Jack love each other, a lot of the events seem kind of disconnected and made for a difficult read, especially with a book like this. I didn’t know if it was being foreboding, deeply spiritual, or even full on dark during points, and it made for a frustrating read. This seems like a cool setup; so if you have read or will read it, let me know what I miss.
Rating: 3/5

1 comment:

  1. This one sounds kind of fascinating. What a different kind of concept for a book. And I like that it's based on a fairy tale. I'll have to look this one up.

    Dwayne Johnston (Seattle DUI Attorneys)