Book Club Discussion: The Snow Child

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. We’ve added our thoughts for each question as well. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

When Mabel first arrives in Alaska, it seems a bleak and lonely place to her. Does her sense of the land change over time? If so, how?

Her sense of the land definitely changes over time. The land becomes optimistic and hopeful as she starts to appreciate it’s potential and beauty throughout the novel.

In what ways does Faina represent the Alaska wilderness?
She is wild and independent and able to live completely off the land. She adapts to the weather and the landscape.
Much of Jack and Mabel’s sorrow comes from not having a family of their own, and yet they leave their extended family behind to move to Alaska. By the end of the novel, has their sense of family changed? Who would they consider a part of their family?
Although Mabel still keeps in contact with her sister, their sense of family has changed to include the people they meet in Alaska. Esther and her family become a part of Jack and Mabel’s family and Faina becomes their daughter. They create a unique family of their own in Alaska.

What do you believe happened to Faina in the end? Who was she?

There are many ways the ending can be interpreted and I don’t feel strongly one way or another. It simply seemed like the right way to end the book. Faina served her purpose and moved on. She became a part of the Alaskan Wilderness.

Share your responses in the comments section!

Questions by Princeton Book Review

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