Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy, Fairy Tales
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Format: Audio Book
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
If ever there was a book that made you feel everything right along with the characters it was this one. It was haunting and sad in certain places, making you feel for the characters who wanted nothing more in the world than a child and who were living in quiet solitude in the Alaskan wilderness. But it was also so full of joy and love and hope in places that I found myself smiling along as the characters must have been smiling. It was lovely, and like the great northern fairy tales it references, it too felt like a magical fairy tale with snow and forest creatures and woodland spirits. It was wonderful, and unique, and I’d very much recommend it for anyone to read.