Hi Sticky. I'm really glad you enjoyed the book as much as I did. It wasn't something I would have chosen myself but my mum has often lent me books that I've then loved - she often chooses quite gentle stories.
Like you, I felt bereft when I'd finished it, felt a little haunted by it for a day or two afterwards....
I agree with Sticky's take on whether Faina was real - I had my doubts until she became integrated with the other characters, but yes certainly ambiguous.
Re AP's question as to whether the girl was real: it was interesting (sorry I meant to say this the first time but forgot!) how the dialogue between characters was written. Don't have the book now, but I think between the "normal" characters it was with quotation marks, but with Faina it was not, kind of giving the impression that it was thought rather than speaking out loud. This made me wonder at the beginning whether she was imaginary, but then when she was seen by the others and married and had a baby, I thought she had to be real - a group hallucination seemed unlikely! And we had the explanation for her existence. I agree it was never answered beyond doubt though.
I loved this book! I loved the setting, the marvellous descriptions of life in 1920s Alaska, the very touching portrayal of the relationship between Mabel and Jack and the link with the Russian fairy story. I thought it was beautifully written.
I was so sorry when it was over! I feel bereft. A really good book, thanks Lola
I'd seen this in waterstones, and would never have chosen it, TBH. I don't generally like books set in a wilderness. I'm very much a town/city person, and wilderness scares me. I also don't like anything even vaguely "woo" or supernatural, so a double whammy of reasons not to like it. BUT once I got into it, I really enjoyed it. What a hard life! I loved the characterisation, and the descriptions of their daily life ( still wouldn't want to go there though!)
I'm not sure what I thought about the girl. She obviously existed to have had a baby, but did she...?
Thanks for making me read something out my comfort zone. Great choice.
Just kicking this off for when you're ready to post AP. I hope you enjoyed the book. I only read it myself on hols this summer, I had borrowed it from my mum but when I finished it, I thought it was such a lovely story, I wanted to own my own copy. So I bought said book, then found out you were starting another round and thought 'perfect - that can be my book'.
It's a bit different so am interested to find out if others enjoy it as much as I did.