Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
This was the third book I read for the read a thon. I'm kind of disappointed I didn't read more but I keep forgetting I have to feed my family and keep the house decent. As much as I love to read, adulting takes precedence. I started this book after supper and finished it before I finally went to bed. There was no way I was putting this book down until I finished it. It was that good. This book begins with the telling of a fairy tale. A Russian fairy tale about a childless couple who want nothing more in life to be parents. So great is their desire, they build a little girl out of snow and she becomes real. I have always loved fairy tales and had them read to me for as long as I can remember. This book beautifully took the premise of the tale and made it its own. Set in 1920s Alaska, the author perfectly described the people and the hardships they faced. I grew to love the characters so much. I cried for and with them. Their joys and pain were felt by me almost as if I was a character in the book. This book will be added to my favorites shelf and I will be buying it in hardback to keep. I give this book 5/5 stars. ~Laurie