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SkinnyDippingIntoBooks

Skinny Dipping Into Books

I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea.  and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.

 

I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,


Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.


time spent in that before bed reading slot:

5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago  2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.


How are common themes handled?

5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power  4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates  1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.

Where would you keep it post-reading?

5-Next to my bed.  4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.


Emotional response-

5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry.
3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 
2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.

Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):

5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy

Currently reading

The Complete Stories
Flannery O'Connor
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Alissa Nutting, Alissa Nutting

The Snow Child

The Snow Child -

there once lived a woman and an old man. They lived in harmony and friendship. Everything would have been fine, had it not been for the great sorrow—the old couple had no children."

 

"what about it, old woman, let's make a daughter out of snow." the old man proposed. "Let's," the old woman replied.

 

The Snow Maiden and Other Russian Tales By Bonnie C. Marshall

 

 



Snow Child is about the desperate, aching urge to wade in the glory of a fulfilling life. For Mabel and Jack living in the blustering cold of Alaska, this meant having a child. Try as they may they were unable to conceive on their own. This left an emptiness in their hearts and in their home. Their relationship was subdued, and stagnant. They ate, Jack tended to the land, and Mabel cleaned.

Except for one night when, with a fevered childlike misfit, Jack and Mabel found themselves outside in the crunching whiteness of new snow. Throwing snowballs they forgot about their global sadness and the edges of a crackling relationship, and boisterous laughter ruptured across white terrain.  Caught up in a mind rid of pain, sorrow, distractions, and boredom, Jack and Mabel construct a snow child. Not just any ole ordinary thing. No,  Jack and Mabel put all the details into their loving creation, whispering kind words, and adding personal effects.  As wet boots thaw at the door, they fall on their heels, realizing that their childlike fantasies are fruitless. Going to bed they return to a mindset cluttered by that which was so easily dismissed moments ago.

Peaks outside, footprints clear in the snow, a missing snow child…..Their lives change radically as  snow transforms into the flesh and blood child they name Faina. The story transverses the expected plot lines. The couple creates a space for the child, with all the warm, cozy happiness. their bond solidifies over the winter winds, and only when things begin to thaw do they, both child and parents, realize what summer brings. But like Frosty said, "I'll be back", and so will Faina.

Things ebb and flow in Jack and Mabel's little cabin, and we, as the readers, are given an aerial view, and even though their family consists of a snow child, things are rather familiar. Due to its high attention to detail and plot, the portrayal of a family is not atypical, as you would expect, but normal. There are love affairs, the weird changes between partners when a child is birthed, everyday mundane things, judgements by friends, and love affairs. Faina continues to be a part of their lives like any other child, except for a few snow related misfortunes. The pitch perfect delivery of the setting lets us experience Jack and Mabel's full array of emotions as they navigate the icy stormy winters, the unforgivable mushy muddiness of spring and summer and in the case of Jack and Mabel a particularly personal sorrow that comes with increases in temperatures, and, in fall we experience alongside Jack and Mabel as sorrow is tempered by the return of their beloved child.

Snow Child is chock full of emotional disregulation. The reader feels the crush of snow under his/her boots, and the sorrow and fear of losing a love one. We feel the desperate sense of loss and emptiness at the notion of killing oneself. Budding relationships and new love flicker small tickles in the the reader's stomach, gathering into a warm earning to be accepted and to accept another person. The reader will grit his/her teeth as Mabel and Jack are forced to hid their joy of parenting from the small Alaskan community. And there is so much more… so much more that this author lets us witness and experience.  

READ IT.


“She looked directly up into the northern lights and she wondered if those cold-burning spectres might not draw her breath, her very soul, out of her chest and into the stars.”

“She had watched other women with infants and eventually understood what she craved: the boundless permission-no, the absolute necessity- to hold and kiss and stroke this tiny person. Cradling a swaddled infant in their arms, mothers would distractedly touch their lips to their babies' foreheads. Passing their toddlers in a hall, mothers would tousle their hair even sweep them up in their arms and kiss them hard along their chins and necks until the children squealed with glee. Where else in life, Mabel wondered, could a woman love so openly and with such abandon?”

“She and Jack had formed her of snow and birch boughs and frosty wild grass.”

"We are allowed to do that, are we not? To invent our own endings and choose joy over sorrow"

"Why was it always the woman's fate to pace and fret and wait?"

“To believe, perhaps you had to cease looking for explanations and instead hold the little thing in your hands as long as your were able before it slipped like water between your fingers.”