The Snow Girl
Tasha and her parents have moved to live with her grandfather in a remote valley. The novel opens with her experiencing her first snow and it is more wonderful than she had even imagined. The magic of snow is hard to imagine, but Anderson evokes it beautifully, spreading a chill throughout the pages of this wonderfully wintry tale.
Tasha has had a frightening experience that has left her timid and closed off. To combat her loneliness, she makes a wish upon a snow girl she has built, hoping it will turn into a real girl. That night she meets Alyanna, who has come alive from this frosty form.
Together they explore the surrounding mountains, and Anderson creates such a vivid picture of this environment making the reader feel as though they are discovering the place right alongside them. However, while Anderson captures the wonder of the natural world, there is also a creeping sense of its cruelty underneath. As the harsh winter stretches on, Tasha must accept that it is linked to Alyanna and to protect her community she must find a way to bring it to an end. The book doesn’t try to evade the pain of life, even as it shows the importance of embracing all its joy.
Inspired by the Russian story of The Snow Maiden this version feels every bit as timeless as the folktale. Anderson shows a deep respect for the tradition of the story, and storytelling itself; a craft of which she is clearly a master.