Eowyn Ivey

Perfect Books for Christmas Reading #Christmas #ChristmasReading #ChristmasBooks #FridayReads

xmas

I love Christmas. At least some of it. I love being at home with my family, snuggling up on the sofa and watching movies, walking the dogs and coming home to a glass of mulled wine and a good book. And there are some books that seem just perfect for Christmas. These are my recommendations for a cosy evening (or afternoon, or all day!) by a warm fire.

‘The Toymakers’ by Robert Dinsdale

Toymakers

I read this last week in a remote cottage in Wales while the rain poured down and the wind howled round us. We had a gorgeous wood-burner and plenty of wine, and I felt really Christmassy. It’s a gorgeous book – atmospheric, magical, heartfelt and beautifully written.

‘The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey

snow child

I read this quite a while ago but I can still recall how beautiful it was. The prose is so evocative, it sums up the cold and wildness of Alaska perfectly. And the fairy tale winding through makes it an ideal day for a cold winter’s night in front of a fire.

‘Dear Thief’ by Samantha Harvey

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A quiet but stunningly beautiful narrative, this novel is an honest portrayal of betrayal, anger and friendship, raw in places but so well-crafted. One of my favourite books.

‘Nights at the Circus’ by Angela Carter

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Vivid, magical, beautiful – this is truly a classic. The writing is assured, clever without being pretentious, lyrical in places. It’s a book I’ll remember for a long time – unforgettable, colourful, and chaotic. A masterpiece.

‘Winter’ by Ali Smith

ali smith winter

Another book that I read in Wales last week and it was very suited to the pouring rain and howling wind! Review coming soon, but goodness, what an unusual book. I won’t try to explain it because it kind of defies explanation, but it’s witty and clever and insightful. And very, very different.

Happy reading and happy holidays!

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‘The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey #TuesdayBookBlog #BookReview

snow-child

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

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.

I dithered a bit when deciding on the star rating for this book. I couldn’t decide between four or five stars.

The writing is absolutely stunning. Beautiful, evocative descriptions of the cruel but awe-inspiring Alaskan wilderness, combine with heartfelt and touching portrayals of two lovely, kind people who are frozen by the tragedy at the heart of their lives – a tragedy that has driven them away from everything they know to the wilds of Alaska, that sees them struggling to survive, but a tragedy that they don’t speak about, despite their obvious love for each other.

The writing is warm and the author’s love for her characters really comes through. And l loved the way that the traditional fairy tale was woven through the narrative so cleverly that even now I’m still not sure what was real and what wasn’t. And the snow child herself is exquisitely written – ethereal yet capable, fragile but tough, her story is beautifully told.

The only let down for me was that it was a bit long-winded in parts. The writing is gorgeous, but it still needs to be tightened in places. And that’s what had me wavering. But in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and was, at times, totally immersed in the world that the author so cleverly created. So it does have to be five stars.

5 stars