Based on the Russian fairy tale, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey begins as a deceptively simple tale, but becomes more complex and compelling as the novel progresses. Mabel and Jack, homesteaders in the Alaskan wilderness, see a child flitting through the forest. Believing at first that she can’t possibly be real, that what they see is some other forest creature, Mabel and Jack eventually entice her into their cabin and into their lives. The girl is linked to winter, joining Mabel and Jack during the winters, leaving again every spring for the snow-covered mountains … until she becomes tied to their homestead by love. Is she the child of the fairy tale, conjured by Mabel and Jack’s own deep desire for a child and their impulsive and joyous act of building a snow child during the first snowfall – or an orphan left alone to survive in a beautiful but unforgiving wilderness? And what happens when one tries to capture and hold onto what is beautiful but ephemeral? There are no simple answers, even to the end of the novel, which leaves the reader lingering over the ending and contemplating meaning long after you’ve read the last page. A highly readable novel and a compelling one.