This book actually helped me appreciate the winter, so you KNOW this has to be an excellent book.
In Alaska, circa 1920s, Jack and Mabel move to Alaska to start a homestead in the middle of the wilderness. The couple has struggled with infertility and are still haunted by the baby they lost years ago. One day they make a girl out of snow and the next day they see the snow girl is missing and they see flashes of a girl running around their homestead and in the woods.
“It was beautiful, Mabel knew, but it was a beauty that ripped you open and scoured you clean so that you were left helpless and exposed, if you lived at all.”
This book is so beautifully written. You can really feel the bitter cold, see the breathtaking landscape and feel the difficulties of getting by in a stark and minimally populated space.
Jack and Mabel get to know Faina, the mysterious girl over time and she becomes a regular fixture in their household. Mabel lives and dies by Faina’s appearances and you can’t help but ache along with her.
“Mabel was no longer sure of the child’s age. She seemed both newly born and as old as the mountains, her eyes animated with unspoken thoughts, her face impassive. Here with the child in the trees, all things seemed possible and true.”
I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves lyrical prose, stories about trying to live off of the land, fairy tales for adults, fans of magical realism.