FOR my Newcomers Club Book Club
First Sentence: Mabel had known there would be silence.
Interesting (but probably not really) coinky-dink: I loved another book this year that featured a Mabel. H is for Hawk. [READ IT.]
WHAT’s it about: This lovely tale is a reworking of a Russian fairy tale of a snow child that comes to life for an aging childless couple. What is most intriguing to me is that the author manages to work in quite a few variations of the story into her unique take on the story. Well done, Ms Ivey, WELL DONE.
Can you tell I liked this one?
Number of PIE mentions: at least SIX; apple pie, walnut pie, rhubarb pie, baking pie, taking pie to market town, and an inferred Fiddlehead Fern Pie. (Sorry, I can’t find online but I have it in one of my pie books – not yet tried it because I have yet to source any of these ferns at the appropriate time.)
Quotes I liked:
|“Or did fear drive her? Fear of the gray, not just in the strands of her hair and her wilting cheeks, but the gray that ran deeper, to the bone, so that she thought she might turn into a fine dust and simply sift away in the wind.”|
|“As Jack knelt in the bloody snow, he wondered if that was how a man held up his end of the bargain, by learning and taking into his heart this strange wilderness – guarded and naked, violent and meek, tremulous in its greatness.”|
“Mable looked from her drawing to the snowflake in the child’s hand. I can always work on the details later. Shall we call it finished for now? She asked. Yes, Faina said. The child put the heel of her hand to her lips and blew on the snowflake, and it fluttered into the air like dandelion down.”
|“But Jack was seeking out that deep, opaque place where sound and pain and light are muted, where a man doesn’t have to put words to his despair because his numb tongue and useless lips can’t speak anything at all.”|
The writing is exquisite. The characters human. The plot pace is sure and the plot points surprising. I thought it was going to be painful and dreadfully disheartening, and though, yes, it has sadness, I was not unhappy with the conclusion.
I was glad that my worst fears were not met but interested in why I had those worst fears. I never felt manipulated or played. It all felt honest.
I had both felt attracted to this book as well as resisted it for fantasy and extreme cold temperatures but I am very glad that book club selected this for January. I really like the book cover art.
QUESTION for those of you who have also read this title: Do you think it would be a good choice or bad choice for a film adaption? I think both. I can see that opening scene on the river, testing the ice. I can visualize the beautiful blue coat with the embroidered snowflakes…
RATING: Five slices of rhubarb pie. Tart, wild, so seasonal – like Faina.