I have wanted to read this book ever since it first came out. I selected it for my book club to read this month and I have enjoyed it immensely. I enjoyed the writing style of this author and I felt like the characters were well developed and could be friends of mine. Jack and Mabel had moved to Alaska after losing a baby at birth…to begin anew.
Mabel dreamed of working together side by side and making a life in the wilderness. Jack’s thoughts were to get Mabel away from inquisitive eyes and sympathetic voices…he would provide for her as a man should. However, he didn’t accept Mabel’s help…she was to keep the house and make meals. As the years came and went, the couple grows apart, although they still love one another. Mabel reached the point of quiet desperation and considered suicide at the river, but the ice was too thick and thwarted her plan. One night in play, Mabel and Jack built a snow child. The next morning it was bumped down to a lump of snow, but the mittens and scarf were missing.
Every so often they caught glimpses of a fair haired child wearing the scarf and mittens. The child was accompanied by a red fox. No one saw the snow child except Jack and Mabel until she was sixteen or seventeen years old. Her name was Faina. Faina brought hope to Jack and Mabel. As the years with the snow child passed, they learned patience and the restraint to allow the child to be her own person and their love for her and their family grew. For me the main theme was that of growth...we are never to old to grow. Although Jack and Mabel had sought a life of solitude, they soon learned that they did indeed need friends and neighbors. Faina, the snow child, needed the love of a family, but the freedom of independence. And Mabel learned that she could choose her own path-- to choose joy or despair. I highly recommend this book.