I first read this one in 2012 (also in December), and I thought it would be the perfect time to re-read this one. It is almost Christmas, at times it is quite cold outside, and so this book, with a winter theme is perfection. I only read this one before I went to sleep, snuggling up in bed, and then 30 minutes of wonderful reading time.
The first parts of the book was wonderful, sweet, and lovely, I have to say that I didn’t care much about the Garrett and Faina stuff that happened in the later parts. It just felt unfitting. Yes, I know the Snow Child origin story does feature it (or at least one of them as there are variations), but I wish it was just left out. It felt so painful to read those last parts, especially considering that we know how Faina and how she does things due to her living in nature since her childhood. Plus the fact there is the whole magical part that is bound to pop up in full force during that time. (No, this is not a spoiler, it is quite clear from the start, plus if you know the origin story.)
And not only Faina, I just felt like Garrett was abusing the situation for a whole slew of reasons.
But the first part, in which we learn about Jack, about Mabel, about their wishes, about their dreams. At times it was painful to read, I have wanted to smack both of them on their heads at times. They were oh so stubborn. Jack I just wanted to smack for being who he is. He was quite mean and rude towards his wife. Especially when she just needed someone to support her. He often just turned away from the situation. 🙁
It was also painful because you could see the rift forming between them. I could also see deep love between both of them, but also a very deep sadness, which probably has to do with Mabel losing her baby years ago and her never really recovering from it.
Then again, that is also logical since people, especially in that time, expected people to marry, have tons of babies. So you will always come in contact with someone who has a baby, or someone who wants to know why you don’t have any kids.
But I definitely loved both of them, for how hard they worked, how they tried their best. How they even made friends, found people to trust in this harsh world where they lived. There were also times that you could see why they fell in love. You could see a lot of chemistry between them. You could see that these 2 are destined to be together for all time. It was so sweet.
And then they make a snow child, and thus begins the true story. A child, is she real, or is she a true snow child? It was definitely a lot of fun to discover that, even with the hints pointing to one thing, there were also hints leading to another thing. I loved that the author managed to have both of it, never overbalancing to one side, always staying neutral, making you ever wondering about what is true. I also liked that Jack was the one who believed and saw one side, while Mabel, always inside, saw another side. It caused some friction between them.
Faina was a lovely girl, and I loved how happy she made Jack and Mabel. They finally had someone they could care for, even if she was a fleeting appearance in their life. It was very interesting to see her survive in this harsh landscape. She is a very strong-willed girl.
Esther and George? They were great characters and I love that they were added, and I loved how kind and caring they both were. How they went out of their way to help Jack and Mabel when the need arose, but also just popped by for visiting and fun. Esther especially was a sweet, kind woman and she made Mabel come out of her shell more. I also loved how different they were from Mabel and Jack. They were complete opposites!
The book has multiple POV. At first Jack and Mabel. Later the focus is more on Garrett and Faina. But Mabel and Jack also get a spotlight, so no worries. 🙂
The book is written so wonderfully, you can just see yourself, you can just imagine yourself there. Wandering through the woods, living on the edge of the world. I could feel the cold, I could feel the fear of maybe not making it, having to give up. The author did a magnificent job on writing.
What more? Mm, I think I have everything now. I would highly recommend this book to everyone! This is beautiful, wonderful, and the perfect read for the winter months. Be prepared to bring some tissues.