[Book Talk] The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Book Details:

Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Read: August 2017

Synopsis:

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart – he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone – but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place, things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

My Thoughts

I’ve had this book for such a long time and I don’t know why I didn’t read it sooner! I adore books about Alaska or other places that are secluded and cold, where people have to homestead and don’t have a corner store at their disposal. Automatically, I was in love with this story and Jack and Mabel’s sorrow about never having a child. I loved the atmosphere of the cold and snow and the mystery surrounding their snow child they made.

I loved Faina and the way she was written in the story. Ivey doesn’t use quotation marks when people talk to her, so it was always a question in my mind if she was real or not and even towards the very end, I wondered if she was real. It added a real spooky quality to the story!

This book was a 5-star read for me, but only just – I felt like the ending wasn’t quite what I had wanted. The story has a touch of magical realism to it and I felt like the ending just didn’t fit, BUT it was a really, really good book. I see Ivey has another book out that also takes place in Alaska and I really look forward to reading that one, too!

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[Book Talk] The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Read: August 2017

Synopsis:

In the spirit of The Aviator’s Wife and Loving Frank, this resonant debut spans the years from World War II through the Vietnam War to tell the story of a woman whose scientific ambition is caught up in her relationships with two very different men.

For Meridian Wallace–and many other smart, driven women of the 1940s–being ambitious meant being an outlier. Ever since she was a young girl, Meridian had been obsessed with birds, and she was determined to get her PhD, become an ornithologist, and make her mother’s sacrifices to send her to college pay off. But she didn’t expect to fall in love with her brilliant physics professor, Alden Whetstone. When he’s recruited to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to take part in a mysterious wartime project, she reluctantly defers her own plans and joins him.

What began as an exciting intellectual partnership devolves into a “traditional” marriage. And while the life of a housewife quickly proves stifling, it’s not until years later, when Meridian meets a Vietnam veteran who opens her eyes to how the world is changing, that she realizes just how much she has given up. The repercussions of choosing a different path, though, may be too heavy a burden to bear.

Elizabeth Church’s stirring debut novel about ambition, identity, and sacrifice will ring true to every woman who has had to make the impossible choice between who she is and who circumstances demand her to be.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Sons for a copy of this book! 

When I first saw the cover of this book, I loved it! It looked like the perfect summer read and based on the cover, I thought it sounded maybe like a love story, which I love.

This was a really great read and I loved seeing Meridian’s journey after she falls in love with Alden. This very much was a story of what it was like to be a woman in that time, when you were meant to sacrifice everything for the sake of your husband and I couldn’t imagine living what Meridian had to go through. I loved that she still tried to keep ahold of some of her dreams despite sacrificing everything, and I despised Alden for being so selfish and thinking that Meri would just drop everything for him (knowing she would).

I loved Church’s writing and really looked forward to reading this book whenever I had a chance to pick it up. I look forward to seeing what her next book is!

[Book Talk] The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1) by Tessa Dare

Book Details

Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Read: September 2017

The Girl Meets Duke series

  1. The Duchess Deal

Synopsis:

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

My Thoughts

I always look so forward to a new Tessa Dare book. She’s one of my most favourite authors and one of the authors I go to when I need a good laugh, a good swoon, and want to have a nice relaxing read. I had started this one on the Friday of a weekend and loved it SO much. It was the best book I could pick to read on a busy weekend and immediately relaxed me when I sat down to read – if only I didn’t have to put it down to do other things!

This book was AWESOME. I feel like Tessa’s books just get better and better but this book really reminded me of her Spindle Cove series. Right off the bat I was laughing and I didn’t stop laughing! It’s not like this book is pure comedy, but just the little quips and the banter between Emma and Ash was perfection. This is one of those books where you just know they’re going to get together in the end, so it’s predictable, but Tessa makes the journey so much fun and her characters are so compelling. I was sad to see this one end, but it’s the beginning of a series so there’s just going to be that much more fun!

I can’t wait to read The Governess Game!