If you’re looking for a good winter read — or just a good read, period — The Snow Child is a great choice.
This book is about Jack and Mabel, who move to the far north of Alaska in the early 1900s. They want to live a homesteading, pioneering style of life, since the typical New England lifestyle didn’t appeal to them. They had had a stillborn baby:
It was a child, after all, although it looked more like a fairy changeling. Pinched face, tiny jaw, ears that came to narrow points; that much she had seen and wept over because she knew she could have loved it still.
To their sorrow they are still childless, and likely to remain that way as they’re getting older.
The Snow Child
While they are surviving the harsh environment, one night in a moment of levity they build a snowman outside. Well, actually it’s more of a snow girl — a snow child. They dress her with a scarf, and it seems strange the next morning when the scarf, along with most of the snow girl, has disappeared. They begin seeing glimpses of what appears to be a girl here and there amongst the trees. Could their snow child have come to life?
I don’t want to say a lot more (spoilers and all that), but this book is well-written and is just a good story.
“I guess maybe I don’t want to be warm and safe. I want to live.”
“‘What can we do? It’s not as if we can forbid her. She isn’t our daughter, is she?’ This last shot struck its target. How many times had he spoken those precise words? Faina wasn’t their daughter. They couldn’t determine her life. All they could do was be grateful for any time they had with her.”
True words for any of us — with snow children or real ones.