Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Headline Review
Released: 1st of February 2012 (first published 1st of January 2011)
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?
What I Have To Say
This book started quite slowly. I found I didn't really get into it until Faina appeared for the first time and the book really started off. I honestly don't feel that much of the book up until that point was needed. I think the only thing that kept me reading was the fact that I knew something was going to happen eventually. But after that initial start, I really enjoyed it.
Faina was a wonderful character, I loved the fairy tale feel of her, created both through the character herself and the lack of speech marks in the scenes she was in (which normally I don't like, but in this case it actually really worked). The fairy tale it was based on was actually one I'd never heard of before as well, so it was really interesting to learn about the story as it was explained in the book. Though I really want that lovely blue book that Mabel has now! It sounds beautiful even if it's in Russian.
As I said, I didn't like the start of the book, and because of that, I didn't warm to Jack and Mabel very quickly. But as the book went on I fell in love with them almost as much as I did Faina. Mabel was very sweet and she was wonderful around Faina as well as on her own. Jack was so lost at first, especially with the doll. I also really like stories about the whole making a new life in some rural country and living off the land thing, frontier stories? Anyway, I think I just like the idea of living off the land and building your own home. I think it fit pretty well with the fairy tale side of the story.
This book was real and hard-hitting in some places and magical in others. I think that Ivey managed to combine these two ideas really well. This is definitely a must read for fairy tale fans.