The Snow Child was an emotive and compelling story about a couple who had seen their fair share of life’s horrible qualities. Set in the depths of a snowy landscape, the couple try to navigate their way through each summer and winter, hoping to push their past away, locking it down in the whispers of their minds. Except, it’s not as simple as that.
One winter, a young girl appears to Mabel. She does not speak and has a fox by her side. Based on a Russian folk-tale, where a young girl made of snow comes to life, the novel proves to be beautifully written and plotted wonderfully. Though it was a retelling, the novel used elements of realism and magical twists, to create a wonderful story, that unfolds as a twist of familial love with a dash of snowy magic. Of all the characters in this novel, Mabel was my favourite.
A woman who had a tragic past, having been unable to have children, after a miscarriage and the loss of purpose, Mabel tried to commit suicide. Suffering terribly from depression, she withdraws in on herself and is unable to forgive her husband, Jack for being emotionally distant. He continues to be this way, even when she needs him and I came to resent him as a person, until the little girl shows.
Faina, the little girl, brings Mabel and Jack together, even though Jack at first doesn’t want to believe in Mabel’s stories of the little girl. He believes that she is lying or seeing things. Yet another reason why I didn’t like Jack as a character. I found Mabel far more sympathetic and sweet in nature, she was more accessible and understanding in comparison to the other characters in the novel.
As the snow melts and the summer arrives, Faina begins to spend more and more time with Mabel and Jack. Soon, months turn to years and she grows up to be a young woman. Beautiful and cold and warm, she allows Jack and Mabel to be her adoptive parents, she falls in love with Garrett, the son of a nearby family and they marry. She bares a child and gives birth.
But just as the snow child Mabel and Jack created out of snow, she melts away. She leaves and does not return and though it is debatable what happens, it would be symbolic of her nature, if she melted away like the snow she came from. Maybe, she returns when it snows again, maybe not.
Either way, she becomes one with nature, as it beings to snow again at the end of the novel.