I was considering whether I was even going to do an Autumn Readathon wrap-up as my reading last week wasn’t that out-standing. Mercedes from MercysBookishMusings might be as disappointed with me, as I am. But, since the books I did manage to read are outstanding and deserve to be written about, I’m going to do just that.
Out of the four books, I wanted to read, I managed to finish The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and start Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Both were incredible in their own way.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
What. A. Book. It definitely isn’t one I would usually pick up, but I’m incredibly glad that I did.
What The Snow Child is about.
The Snow Child is set in the 1920s and tells the story of Jack and Mabel. After having lost their unborn child, they decide to come to Alaska and start over in their very own homestead. But life in Alaska is hard and their grief renders them incapable of working and communicating together. Both of them are wasting away in the wilderness. Together, but still very alone. Then one day, on a whim, they decide to build a snow child. The little girl looks beautiful and their hearts feel lighter. But the next day, the snow child is gone. Instead they suddenly see a little girl roaming the forest with her red fox.
What I thought about The Snow Child.
Oh boy. Where to begin.
There are so many things that I liked about the book. Being slightly obsessed with Alaska, the setting surely was a selling point. Eowyn Ivey writes landscapes so beautifully, that I really felt like I was there. The strong current of the winter hidden under the ice. The endless forests covered in snow. The wild animals and the force and power of nature. It all pulled me in and didn’t let me go again.
Then there are the emotions. They are always there and never ceased to move me. Jack and Mable are lost in their own grief and Faina brings them out of it. But even tough their lives are happier with her, the melancholy and sadness never leaves the story. There is always the possibility that Faina might disappear forever. She is elusive and unbelievably real and alive at the same time. I wouldn’t describe her as a fairy, as she has the power and survival-skills of a wild animal. Even after reading the entire book, I can’t say for sure what or who she really is. And I think that’s a good thing.
Throughout the book, there might not be that much happening plot-wise, which means that there’s enough room for character developments. And I feel like all the characters develop. From Mabel and Jack to Faina and all the others. They grow and change as the story evolves and make it really hard for anyone to put the book down. I read it in one afternoon and couldn’t read fast enough towards the end.
I might not be a 100% convinced with the ending. It’s like Eowyn Ivey wanted to give us a solution to the mystery and then in the last minute decided not to. I don’t blame her. I think that the book is as amazing as it is exactly because it is mysterious and one is never quite sure what’s going on. I would just have loved for the mystery to stay intact and not crack here and there. If you’ve read the book, maybe you know what I mean. Don’t want to give the ending away. 🙂
Should you read The Snow Child?
Yes. Definitely yes!
Even if you wouldn’t normally buy and read books like that, I can promise you that you won’t regret it. Eowyn Ivey is like a fairy herself who pulls you in and never lets you go. I’ve already bought her second novel To The Bright Edge Of The World and can’t wait to start reading.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Before I started reading, I was convinced that I’ve already read it once for university. But after turning a few pages, I had to admit that I haven’t. And that’s a shame, really. Because Jane Eyre is such a good book.
What Jane Eyre is about.
If you aren’t familiar with the plot, Jane Eyre tells the story of an orphan girl and her way through life. It is written in first person and I believe that it definitely has some autobiographical facts hidden within its pages.
The book starts out with Jane Eyre living in her aunt’s house where she is barely tolerated and kicked out as soon as she can start school. From then on, Jane is all alone and has to find her own way. She grows up to become a governess which leads her to meet Mr Rochester, the master she falls in love with.
I feel like the book is part coming-of-age novel, part incredible romance. Both Jane and Edward Rochester are very passionate people and their feelings haunt the pages of the book. Sometimes I felt like their passionate torment was even worse than the spooky things happening on the third floor of Thornfield.
What I thought about Jane Eyre.
Only good things, really. There is not one bad thing I can say about the book.
The characters are complex and flawed. They all seem to be driven by a passion that torments them. There was a point in the story, where I almost cried. And that hasn’t happened in a very long time. I don’t know what it was, but the impossible match between the two main characters tormented me as much as it did them.
And boy did I fall in love with Mr Rochester. 🙂 I really can’t understand why Mr Darcy is more popular. (Haven’t read Pride and Prejudice either, so maybe I shouldn’t judge just yet.)
Putting aside my crush on Jane’s master, the book is so much more than just a love story. It really is the story of a young woman who stands by her principles. Who is independent and not afraid to speak up.
I am no bird; and no net ensures me: I am a free human being with an independent will. (Jane Eyre)
I feel like this quote beautifully describes who Jane Eyre is. She might be pale and small, but inside she is fierce and so much stronger than anyone thinks. If there was ever a literary figure to look up to, I feel like Jane Eyre should be the one.
Should you read Jane Eyre?
What a question. Of course! 🙂
Don’t let the sheer length of the book or the fact that it sometimes is a bit harder to read than your contemporary book put you off. The story is so beautifully written and the characters so incredible that you would really miss out.