04/16/13 - 3:13pm
I first opened “The Snow Child” in the middle of a Minnesota cold snap. In the opening pages, Mabel, the central character, is facing another despairing Alaskan winter and tempts fate by walking out on a barely frozen river.
It is the 1920s, and a childless, aging couple is attempting to make a life by turning the brutal Alaskan frontier into farmable land. Jack, Mabel’s husband, works tirelessly in the cold, pulling up tree roots, while Mabel spends her lonely days keeping house and eking out meals from their dwindling supplies.