I must confess: about a third of the way through The Snow Child, I skipped to the end to find out what happens to Faina. Decades of reading behind me and this is the first time I've read an ending out of order. As I read the rest of the book I wondered, what was it about this particular story that pushed me to commit such a sin? I thought about it for days until finally it dawned on me. The novel's emotional suspense hinges on the constant uncertainty of a child's fate - exactly the same anxiety I'm wrestling with as a new mother. Will she live through the night? Will she choke on a strawberry? Will she survive the fall off the jungle gym? Our children crawl, skip, and drive away from us, forever dancing blithely on their tenuous promises of survival. As a mother, I'm learning to tame my nightmares and live squarely in the wild presence of uncertainty, but as a reader, the suspense was ...
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