I've rediscovered my passion for reading in the last few months. Since my university days where I devoured novels and philosophical writings, I've gone through phases of not picking up a novel for months. My focus turns to fashion magazines or newspapers instead, admittedly for Matilda's first year this was all my frazzled brain could cope with. Either that or baby books.
It's been the turn of the novel since Christmas, so much so that I read Matilda Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin tonight. Possibly a little too advanced, and too long for her short attention span, but I'm a great believer in broadening her horizons from as an early age as possible. Fun for me to re read old childhood favourites too, reminds me I've got to find my old Heidi books for her.
One of my favourite books of the year so far is The Snow Child, the debut novel from Alaskian writer Eowyn Ivey. A magical, enchanting and deeply mesmerising story of a childless couple who come to seek a better life within a farming community in Alaska. Their struggles against the unrelenting Winters, to immerse themselves in an alien community and to come to terms with their infertility are heart wrenching. However, their lives will change forever with the arrival of the mysterious Snow Child. A wild, untamed little girl who seemingly lives alone in the woods intrigues both the couple and the reader. We follow their attempts at taming he,r whilst opening up their home and feelings to her. Slowly but surely their wish to help becomes a fervent passion for turning her into the daughter they were unable to have. The mystery continues right through to the end of the novel. Her resistance to the abandonment of her freedom is the constant battle through the book that will eventually lead to the climax of the story.
The brutality and harshness of the Alaskan landscape is beautifully portrayed that transports the reader directly there, whilst providing the perfect backdrop to this haunting tale. The Snow Child is an all consuming book that stays with you for a long time after. This is definitely one book I'll be reading again and again.
Buy your copy here or get down to your local bookshop where they'll be sure to stock it.