I chose to read this book because:
a) it's a fairy tale retelling
b) every edition has a gorgeous cover
c) people be giving it tons of stars
I wasn't disappointed. I didn't think the prose was as breathtaking as most people who give it rave reviews seem to. Some of it was certainly beautiful, but for me it fell somewhere between utilitarian and gorgeous--kind of a large swath there. It swiveled between them pretty effectively.
I also didn't really FEEL the "desolation" of Alaska as a lot of people said they did. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a rural area where it's easy to find a place that no other human has been in months (you can tell by your tracks you leave in the snow), if not years. It really does evoke certain strong feelings in you, which were never touched upon in this book.
Mabel and Jack both annoyed me from time to time. One could argue that that's the "historical" part of this historical novel--stoicism and gender roles and whatnot. But I don't know, it's just really frustrating to watch two people who are pretty inept at communication suffering (completely unnecessarily!!) through their relationship. I suppose it serves its purpose in the novel, but sadly that kind of dynamic is really common. Luckily for Mabel & Jack it does get somwhat better over time--though it doesn't seem it's because they started talking to each other any better...
In any case, this was a fun and fast read. It definitely held my interest and I might consider rereading it in the future. I really liked the concept and, well, I really did like all (or the vast majority) of it! :)