A few of my favorite surprises

Dear December reader,

This time of year is full of surprises, magical and happy surprises. And this weekend proved it.

My first surprise was a Kirkus review of my debut novel, The Snow Child:

“… The mystery of Faina’s provenance, along with the way she brightens the couple’s lives, gives the novel’s early chapters a slightly magical-realist cast. Yet as Faina’s identity grows clearer, the narrative also becomes a more earthbound portrait of the Alaskan wilderness and a study of the hard work involved in building a family. Ivey’s style is spare and straightforward, in keeping with the novel’s setting, and she offers enough granular detail about hunting and farming to avoid familiar pieties about the Last Frontier. The book’s tone throughout has a lovely push and pull—Alaska’s punishing landscape and rough-hewn residents pitted against Faina’s charmed appearances—and the ending is both surprising and earned. A fine first novel that enlivens familiar themes of parenthood and battles against nature.”

My second surprise — a starred review from the Library Journal:

“Here’s a modern retelling of the Russian fairy tale about a girl, made from snow by a childless couple, who comes to life. Or perhaps not modern–the setting is 1920s Alaska–but that only proves the timelessness of the tale and of this lovely book. Unable to start a family, middle-aged Jack and Mabel have come to the wilderness to start over, leaving behind an easier life back east. Anxious that they won’t outlast one wretched winter, they distract themselves by building a snow girl and wrap her in a scarf. The snow girl and the scarf are gone the next morning, but Jack spies a real child in the woods. Soon Jack and Mabel have developed a tentative relationship with the free-spirited Faina, as she finally admits to being called. Is she indeed a ‘snow fairy,’ a ‘wilderness pixie’ magicked out of the cold? Or a wild child who knows better than anyone how to survive in the rugged north? Even as Faina embodies a natural order that cannot be tamed, the neighborly George and Esther show Jack and Mabel (and the rest of us) how important community is for survival. VERDICT A fluid, absorbing, beautifully executed debut novel; highly recommended.” [See Prepub Alert, 9/21/11.]–Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

And my third surprise:

My husband and two daughters built this sweet snowman while I was away this weekend.

Wishing you many happy surprises,

Eowyn

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa Behnke
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 15:40:29

    What lovely surprises!

  2. Vivian Faith Prescott
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 15:43:27

    Ahhh, the snowman looks just like I imagined the Snow Child looks.

  3. Novel Girl
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 16:11:29

    How very lucky! What a great review from Library Journal.

    Nice touch with the snowMAN, by the way. 😉

  4. Cynthia Herrin
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 16:16:45

    I just can’t wait until February!!! Hope it comes fast! These reviews are real teasers!

  5. Shirley Novak
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 16:48:54

    I get more and more excited about your book all the time. I love all three of your surprises. Awesome.

  6. AdriAnne Strickland (@adriannems)
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 20:16:04

    Congratulations, Eowyn! What wonderful reviews. I’m so excited for you!

  7. sarah davis
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 23:34:04

    I love your snowman will it come to life?
    best wishes Sarah

  8. Suzie Althens
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 08:06:02

    I refuse to whine about not being able to read this until February. But I can sulk. I can’t wait to read your book Eowyn!

  9. Sue Mathis
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 11:01:48

    Great snowman! Good job Sam, Grace and Rory!

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