The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey: Review

The Snow Child

I bought The Snow Child after seeing the cover on Sarah Higbee’s post, Friday Faceoff and her review of this book. Couldn’t resist it, finished it in one long sleepless night. Worth it.

Emotional, magical, absolutely beautiful.


A fairy tale told in a comparatively modern setting, this book left me in tears grabbing the edge of my blanket.

I kept wondering when the reality ends and fantasy begins. I felt forever at the cliff, waiting for that fall, but never falling. Surreal. I loved the prose, the setting, the background melting into the present and escaping years into the future without making me blink twice.

Smooth transition between each phase of life, a perfect visualisation of a cabin, a childless couple, a child from the fairy tales, a boy who unexpectedly becomes a significant part of the story.


The secondary characters are enjoyable too. The narrative never turns dreary despite the sadness in the overall theme.


I enjoyed the change in dialogue presentation whenever the girl was present. No use of quotation marks made the differentiation of thought and verbal communication clear and added an air of fantasy. Amazing.




4.5 stars for a fantastic fusion of several versions of the fairy tale on The Snow Maiden into this beautiful book. The ending left me with some questions and a little dissatisfaction of not knowing if the possibilities I assumed were correct. Hence the .5.

P.S. As Sarah pointed out, the unreliable narration worked well in the book. I believe I must update my review. It’s just that I was so hooked, I strongly felt that a conclusive ending would have given me some satisfaction. It’s this particular story where I couldn’t appreciate the equal possibility of a tragedy versus a hopeful future. It’s a compliment to the author, of course.


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey 
Kindle Edition, 401 pages 
Published February 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books



  1. sjhigbee

    What a stunning coincidence! A lovely review… this is a book I read a while ago and absolutely blew me away… Unlike you, I appreciated the unreliable narrator so that at the end, the reader has to decide exactly what is going on. But as for the rest, I think you’re spot on – it really is like teetering on the edge of a precipice all the way through…

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      Anindita CSG

      I actually bought the book after reading your review, linked to your cover from Friday Face-off. I thought I had added that line in the review but now I can’t find it! I generally appreciate unreliable narrator but somehow I wanted to know the end so badly…It’s a compliment to the writer actually, hooking me into the story so deep. I will add the line on your blog link now.

  2. sjhigbee

    Thank you for the link! I’m delighted you got hold of the book after the Friday Face-off and then burned through it. And I’m thrilled you loved it so much. Himself somehow missed reading this one first time around and got hold of it after reading the Friday Face-off, too. He also was deeply moved and stayed up waaay later than he’d intended to finish the story:).

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  3. theorangutanlibrarian

    Great review!! I also loved this- so glad you did too 😀 I also thought it was beautiful and so emotional too. I definitely agree with you about how the unreliable narrator really worked for this- it added an air of mystery that was really good. 🙂

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  4. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    I absolutely loved this book. Yeah, I agree – I also wondered where the fairytale started and ended. She seemed to be a real child, after all, but that never explains the ending… and even despite that, I loved the book so much! Absolutely magical.

So what say you?