Jack and Mabel hope that a fresh start in 'Alaska, our newest homeland' will enable them to put the strain of their childless marriage behind them. But the northern wilderness proves as unforgiving as it is beautiful: Jack fears that he will collapse under the strain of creating a farm, and a lonely winter eats its way into Mabel's soul. When the first snow falls, the couple find themselves building a small figure - a snow girl. The next morning, their creation has gone, and they see a child running through the spruce trees. Gradually this child - an elusive, untameable little girl who hunts with a fox and is more at ease in the savage landscape than in the homestead - comes into their lives. But as their love for the snow child and for the land she opens up to them grows, so too does their awareness that it, and she, may break their hearts.
Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairytale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic.
Named after a character from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Eowyn Ivey currently works at an independent bookstore in Alaska. The Snow Child is her debut novel.
The reader is Miranda Richardson
The Snow Child was abridged by Doreen Estall and produced by Gemma McMullan.