Why did it take me so long to read this beautiful book? As many other readers I loved “The Snow Child” and I was happy to get my hands on Eowyn Ivey’s new book. But somehow I did not come around to read until now. And I am happy that I did.
The story is told through letters and diaries. There are also two timelines. The main one is settled in 1885. Sophie, a young teacher, is recently married to Colonel Allen Forrester. He is about to go on an expedition to Alaska. Sophie stays behind in Vancouver because she is pregnant and that is what women do then – stay at home. They both write diaries. While Allen faces the beautiful and merciless land and has encounters with the natives, Sophie has to face her life alone at home. She is not so much interested in the meaningless tea parties and other social interactions with the other wives. She develops an interest in photography and soon she puts all her time and effort into her new hobby.
Both diaries are equal interesting to read. The story is framed by another story which is placed in the present. Here we learn that the diaries survived the time and one of Allen’s ancestors owns them. He wants to donate them to a museum in Alaska and he begins to write to the guy who works there. It is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
Eowyn Ivey writes beautifully. You can feel the cold, see the wild river, meet the natives, walk through snow storms and have mystical experiences. She weaves a lot of folklore into it which I liked very much. Maybe it was a bit too much photography stuff on Sophie’s side but I easily skipped some of it. It was a very unique and interesting read. I will definitely watch out for more books from the author.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review