First Chapter, First Paragraph: The Snow Child

First chapterEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros to share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that she’s reading or planning to read soon.

This week my opening is from Eowyn Ivey’s first book, The Snow Child.

The Snow Child

It begins:

Wolverine River, Alaska, 1920

Mabel had known there would be silence. That was the point after all. No infants cooing or wailing. No neighbor children playfully hollering down the lane. No pad of small feet on wooden stairs worn smooth by generations, or clackety-clack of toys along the kitchen floor. All those sounds of her failure and regret would be left behind, and in their place would be silence.

I’ll be reading this book soon because I’ve read and loved her second book, To the Bright Edge of the World and I’ve heard that The Snow Child is also a wonderful book. These opening sentences are full of pathos and denial of Mabel’s desires and draw me in.


A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska, Eowyn Ivey’s THE SNOW CHILD was a top ten bestseller in hardback and paperback, and went on to be a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?

Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy tale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic.

Would you read on? If you have read this book what did you think?

15 thoughts on “First Chapter, First Paragraph: The Snow Child

  1. This sounds like a really lovely story, Margaret. I don’t usually go for stories that have that element of the fairy story in them, but this one sounds very well done. I like the setting, too.


  2. I remember several reading this one a while back and also remember hearing how much they enjoyed it. Hope that’s how it is for you too. I’d have to be in the right mood for it, but that time may come.


  3. I had my eye on this one when it first came out…and then got distracted by other books. Now I will take another look. Love the sound of it.

    Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.


  4. I love this book, Margaret, and re-read it in January, followed by To the Bright Edge of the World. I’ll be posting about both books soon. Do read on – they are different types of books but they share the magnificent setting and Ivey’s glorious prose. I hope you enjoy it 🙂


  5. Most definitely–love the setting and the fairy tale ambiance. This opening is very lyrical and somber. I think I would like this.


  6. I thought this book was really very good, and have been meaning to read her latest for a while. I did have to stop The Snow Child for a while, because it was just too affecting – which is a good sign, I suppose!


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