Tag Archives: snow

The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen

The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen

This is a fairly short but utterly engrossing read.

The Vanishing Act is narrated by 13 year-old Minou, as she tells us the story of how her mother disappeared from the deserted island that they live on, a year previously. It is both magical and tender as we join Minou in her search for the truth.

‘Suddenly it was the loneliest night, and it was Mama’s voice, and it was the saddest song I had ever heard. It sounded as if she was singing from the depths of the frozen sea. My breath was not my own and everything felt wrong.’

Much like ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, this story is told in a very simple childlike format, which makes you feel all the more for the young naive Minou. She and her father live on the island, and the only other two people also on the island are ‘Priest’ and ‘Boxman’ the magician, and a dog called ‘No Name’. While she is adamant that her mother is still alive and has simply run away, the others on the island are certain she has been drowned at sea. Minou decides to use her logic and compile as many facts as she can to prove her mother is still alive.

‘It is in the heart and not in the words – not even in the most beautiful ones – but in the heart, in the skeleton bird pushing against your chest, wanting to fly, that we know for certain who and what we love. That is all we have, and all there is.’ 

The characters are wonderfully written, and at the same time, both lots and very little happens in the duration of the story.  It is a real gem of a novel. Short, intriguing and ultimately heartbreaking, you will be glad you took a moment to read it. 

It is classified as adult fiction, but I would say it’s very much a crossover book. There’s nothing inappropriate for a younger reader, so I’d suggest it’s suitable for age 13+

Love From

Original Book Girl

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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

‘When she first fell in love with Jack, she had dreamed she could fly, that on a warm, inky black night she had pushed off the grass with her bare feet to float among the leafy treetops and stars in her nightgown. The sensation had returned. Through the window, the night air appeared dense, each snowflake slowed in its long, tumbling fall through the black. It was the kind of snow that brought children running out their doors, made them turn their faces skyward, and spin in circles with their arms outstretched.’

The Snow Child is loosely based on, but mainly inspired by a Russian fairly tale called Snegurochka, which translates as The Snow Maiden.
Eowyn Ivey uses this to create one of the most breathtakingly beautiful books I have ever read.

I’ll admit it, I judged the book by its cover. Without even knowing really what it was about, I was drawn to that magical cover (which seems as if a type of stencil has been used on it), and bought it immediately.

Set in the 1920s, it tells the story of middle-aged couple, Jack and Mabel, who move to Alaska to escape the painful memories surrounding their stillborn child. Living deep in the middle of nowhere, isolated from most of the village, and struggling to keep the homestead going, life seems desperate. In the middle of the night it starts to snow, calm and delicate snowflakes. Overcome with emotion Jack and Mabel try to recapture their happier days, by creating a girl out of snow together. By morning, the snow girl has disappeared, but a young feral child has been spotted darting in and out of the forest nearby.

Eowyn creates an incredible atmosphere with her detailed enchanting descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness. This novel is very much a fairy tale for adults; it is both spellbinding and heartbreaking all at the same time.
It’s difficult to describe the wonderfully strong and vivid imagery in the novel, I could not fault Eowyn’s powerful writing. The story is slow-moving and yet really draws you in.

I loved The Snow Child more than I can describe – I plan to buy the audiobook version at some point too, because that fantastic descriptive language is something I could listen to over and over again. You must get this book, and get it in hardback.

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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Filed under Adult Literature