The authors’ original words do their work more justice than any book review I write, and when grouped together, the quotes become atmospheric of the state they are set in. I hope you enjoy this addition of a “Favorite Quotes” series to my Andrea Reads America coverage.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey book cover on andreareadsamerica.comFrom The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

“All afternoon the clouds remained high and thin, the wind ripped dead leaves from the tree branches, and daylight guttered like a candle. Mabel thought of the terrible cold that would trap her alone in the cabin, and her breathing turned shallow and rapid.”

“November was here, and it frightened her because she knew what it brought – cold upon the valley like a coming death.”

“The December days had a certain luminosity and sparkle, like frost on bare branches, alight in the morning just before it melts.”

“Dawn broke silver over the snowdrifts and spruce trees.”

“Whenever the work stopped, the wilderness was there, older, fiercer, stronger than any man could ever hope to be.”

“The child was dusted in crystals of ice, as if she had just walked through a snowstorm or spent a brilliantly cold night outdoors.”

“A December grave was hard-earned in this place.”

“She seemed to him both powerful and delicate, like a wild thing that thrives in its place but withers when stolen away.”

“The cranberries were tiny red rubies against the white snow.”

“She inhaled the green scent of new leaves and studied the sharp line along the mountaintops where white snow met leafy forest.”

“In the evenings, when the snow-capped mountains went periwinkle in the twilight of the midnight sun, he would walk the fields alone… He would go down the perfect rows of lettuce and cabbage, their immense leaves green and lush. The earth was soft beneath his boots and smelled of humus.”

“The riverbed was blown clear of snow, and Garrett could see where the white blue ice had buckled and froze into great swells and dips.”

“Around the curve the valley opened up, and in the distance spires of blue ice glowed. It was the river’s source – a glacier cradled between white mountains.”

Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival by Velma Wallis book cover on andreareadsamerica.comFrom Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival by Velma Wallis

“That day the women went back in time to recall the skills and knowledge they had been taught from early childhood. They began by making showshoes.”

“Freezing their lungs was another worry.”

“The women dug deep pits in the snow and filled them with spruce boughs [for bedding].”

“I realized the importance of being with a large group. The body needs food, but the mind needs people.”

“Now they realized that because the two women had lived so long, surely they knew a lot more than The People had believed.”

“The People showed their respect for the two women by listening to what they had to say.”

The Woman Who Married a Bear by John Straley book cover on andreareadsamerica.comFrom The Woman Who Married a Bear by John Straley

“I’ve tried other hangover cures besides haiku.”

“Her skin was as white as a sea anemone, and as soft as the pool of warm air you pass through while rowing across the bay.”

“As the bottle got lighter our gestures became wilder, our eyes widened and we imagined we were expanding into our own stories.”

“The landscape seemed to press in and make Juneau seem like a smaller, less sophisticated town than it really was.”

“If you live in southeastern Alaska and are used to being stared down at by the mountains with your back against the ocean, the country around Anchorage is a reprieve.”

“The water boiled with little silver fish dense on the surface like a trillion dollars in quarters spilling onto a sidewalk… There was a massive exploding breath and the damp smell of fish and tideflat… Whale. Humpback whale, feeding on herring.”

Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner book cover on andreareadsamerica.comFrom Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner

“The ice tasted like frozen breath and wet caribou hair.”

“The cold sky turned crystalline, dark blue glass, in reach and ready for one thrown snowball to bring it shattering down.”

“People along the Kuguruk River hated sport hunters and guides as much as they did schoolteachers. Frequently they were one and the same.”

“Down at the river it was minus a lot. My nose kept freezing shut on one side. The dogs… shook frost off their faces. They stood on three legs, melting one pad at a time while the other three quickly froze.”

“Beside his family I knew I looked like a diseased seagull among glossy ravens.”

“I can’t leave till I get white wolf. Tat one got face jus’ like moon. He look inside you.”

“We swept the floor and the cracks between the boards and behind the stove with a goose wing.”

“He cut the nectarine into quarters on the top rail. Where his knife cut it tasted like dirty penny and rancid seal-hide sheath.”

“Breakup was all the holidays combined into one… Grinding, three-foot-thick ice pans peeled back snowbanks and crushed dog stakes and willows and trees.”

“Mr. Standle, one of the new teachers, said any life I chose would need grammar, but he was a States person, and it sounded like they spent too much of their lives doing the paperwork, getting prepared to live.”

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