You know when you read a book that really captivates you? The characters and places feel totally real, the plot is exciting and when you’ve finished, it feels like you’ve lost a good friend? These days, I don’t often find that ‘wow’ factor with novels. I read plenty that I like a lot, but not many that I can truly say I love… But then I found The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.
I have to be honest. I was fairly seduced by the cover. It’s gorgeous and looks just like something from a fairytale. I barely knew anything about the story itself, but as soon as I read the first page, I was mesmerised. It’s not exactly a ‘happy’ book, in fact I’d say two of the main themes are grief and loss, yet there’s so much hope by the end. I’ve lost track of the number of times I wept whilst reading it.
It’s a little while since I finished the novel, yet, unlike many of the books I read, I still think back to the plot, the people, and the setting pretty frequently, and notice the mood of the novel has stayed with me for quite some time.
The Snow Child is set in Alaska and having read the book, I have to say that I now feel very interested in this place. Before, all I’d really known about Alaska was that it was, well, cold. I honestly couldn’t have told you much more than that. Now, I know that they have snow topped mountains, huge lakes, moose, wolverine and foxes running about, dense woodland, plus northern lights in the nights sky. I’m mainly a ‘warm weather person’ but now I really want to visit Alaska! I’ve already looked up trips there on the internet, even though it’ll be years before we ever get there on holiday…
I also feel drawn to Alaska as a setting for my own work. Whilst I could never hope to capture it as perfectly as Eowyn Ivey, I do feel that it offers so much as a literary setting. With vast, impressive natural beauty, bears roaming around and extreme weather, Alaska is practically a character in itself.
So, with Google and my imagination as my new best friends, I’m striking forwards on a journey of discovery, without having to leave my sofa (well, I may go over to Costa for a hot chocolate with my laptop in tow…) Wish me luck!
Oh, and in other news, I have managed to have a third short story accepted with Woman’s Weekly magazine – hurray!