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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 13, 2011 8:17:21 PM PDT
The Snow Child is my favorite book ever. I am 72 years old and have read many books, including, for example, Moby Dick and the space trilogy of C.S. Lewis. I have never before read a book that caused me to want to read it again right away. I did not want it to be over, and I wanted to get back to my new friends. Eowyn's development of believable, vivid, and fascinating characters is unbeatable, and her insight into the corporate soul of humanity left me breathless. Eowyn invariably takes her plot in just the direction it needs to go in order to create art and to entertain. I lived in Alaska for twenty-two years, and I can tell you that this book is exquisite Alaskana. If James Michener was justified in calling his great book, Hawaii, "Hawaii," Eowyn should have the right to call The Snow Child "Alaska." She has written the great Alaska Novel. What do you think. James Ivey

Posted on Mar 23, 2012 1:32:50 AM PDT
SeaGirl says:
Hello James,
You and your famiy must be so proud of Eowyn!
Everyone has fallen in love with this book!
I have no other Alaskan novels to compare this with, but it is definitely a Great Alaskan Novel!! Please ask her why she didn't use talking marks in the dialogues with Faina, and let us all know!!

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 5:27:24 AM PDT
Here is my best shot at reasons for calling this book "The Great Alaska Novel. I have assigned it 5-stars in rating it for Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and, in doing so, I am reminded of something I recently learned about the ranks of general officers in our armed forces. The 5-star rank, "General of the Army," is not at the top. There is a 6-star rank, held without controversy by only one man, George Washington, who performed his duties with no supervision at all. The B and N 5-star rating corresponds with the word, "exceptional," and I consider Eowyn's book better than exceptional. Many books are exceptional. Many people are and have been exceptional. I am, in some quarters, considered exceptional, but I have done nothing that is as good as this book. I do not give it 6 stars; it is not the greatest book ever written. It cannot be realistically compared with the Iliad or the Odyssey. It cannot, in the broad sense of the arts, be placed on a plane with Michelangelo's sculptures, "David" or his "Pieta." I can best compare it with Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Thus, I say it rates five-and-a-half stars; it is "exceptional plus." The most common adjective I have seen in reviews of this work is "perfect." That is a pretty high compliment, and I wish to add "flawless" to the mix. One example: We do not know the last name of Mabel and Jack because, if we did, they would be less like "everyman," and we would be just a little less able to identify with them. Nearly innumerable touches like this one combine to make this book perfect, but the main reason it is perfect is that Eowyn always goes the right way in her unpredictable twists and turns of the plot. At the same time, he flow is smooth, and her syntax is seamless; I feel almost like I am receiving her artfulness and meaning without the intermediary of words. The most common comment I have found in reading reviews is "I couldn't put it down," and the next most common is "I didn't want it to end." Readers are putting off finishing it because they don't want it to be over. Why? Mainly because one doesn't want to leave their new friends, Mabel and Jack, who, like their environment, are created with such richness, such attention to detail, and such insight, wisdom, and brilliance that I marvel at her grasp of meaning and significance and profundity. In reading her book, I have become a virtual component of it, a character who just stands around and observes. I have only re-read 3 books in my life, and I have never wanted to re-read any of them immediately, as was the case with The Snow Child. I have now restarted it and have already been close to tears, particularly in reading ahead into the Epilogue (and I am no blubberer). The main criticism I have heard is the opinion that the mystical element, which is strong, does not endure to the end, with which I most heartily beg to disagree. (Do not read further if you do not wish to know the ending yet.) Yes, Faina becomes human enough to bear a child and love a husband and foster parents Mabel and Jack, and she must in some sense die in order to bring closure to Mabel's failure to grieve for her stillborn. Yet, for my money, she returned to the snow, and to the aurora borealis, and the woods, and to the animals with which she lived in synergy and not as a gushingly loving caregiver but as a fellow inhabitant of the wild. Perfect. Hence, she also (as it were) did not die; there is no corpus delicti, and the mystical element is therefore well-sustained. This is the great Alaska novel and my favorite book of all. Thank you, Eowyn. (James Ivey, father-in-law of the authoress)

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 3:53:56 PM PDT
SeaGirl says:
Thankyou James.
Your beautiful account of how the book has affected you, and why you think it is the Great Alaskan Novel, moved me to tears.

I agree with all you wrote. The novel is a timeless classic. Timeless like any great novel before it, and with the endurance and beauty of a fairy tale, which in this case is the ancestor of the work.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 6:57:04 PM PDT
Gee, thank you, SeaGirl. I have been trying for a couple of months to accurately convey how I feel about Eowyn's novel; I guess I finally succeeded. James (Jim - father-in-law of Eowyn

Posted on May 28, 2012 12:24:49 PM PDT
Julia Walter says:
James, that was quite an impassioned, heartfelt and justified essay on your daughter in law's amazing novel. Are you on Goodreads as well? You may want to cut and paste and put that there as well. Lots of similarly impassioned readers there!

(I don't know many novels that take place in Alaska: "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon takes place in a very invented Sitka. "Winterdance" by Gary Paulsen is about the several times the author of children's books did the Iditarod. I think that author's "Brian" books took place in the Yukon. "Call of the Wild," I think.)

Posted on May 29, 2012 4:30:47 PM PDT
Thank you, Julia; I'll do as you suggest re Goodreads. JI
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Participants:  3
Total posts:  7
Initial post:  Aug 13, 2011
Latest post:  May 29, 2012

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