Good Reads 2013

category_icons03GOOD READS 2013 – When I was the TV reviewer for BBC Wildlife magazine, the editor would not let me write a review about a bad programme. It was less than honest and made for duller copy. However, I am taking a leaf out of her book as I’d love you to spend the Christmas period being transported by wonderful books and giving them as gifts to others. Here is my selection of the books I’ve liked best this year.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey has to be the perfect winter present with its hauntingly snow-childbeautiful descriptions – ‘She could not fathom the hexagonal miracle of snowflakes formed from clouds, crystallized fern and feather that tumble down to light on a coat sleeve, white stars melting…’ – and its poignant relationship between Jack, Mabel and the child they believe they have created out of grief and longing and snow.

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A magical modern fairy tale

category_star80A MAGICAL MODERN FAIRY TALE – Review of The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child is the strange and magical tale of a middle-aged couple who, in 1920, leave their gentrified lives for the wilds of Alaska.  Jack and Mabel, grieving for the loss of their stillborn child and unable to bear the gossip about their childlessness, wish to begin anew – perhaps 5starspurge and punish themselves – when they settle along the shores of the Wolverine River.

They are neither practical, nor young, nor strong and they struggle. In a rare moment of levity, Mabel and Jack build a snow child in their yard, adorned with a red hat and mittens. In the morning the hat and the mittens and, indeed, the snow child, have disappeared.

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