Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Ice Queen

I just read this really great book by Alice Hoffman. It's titled The Ice Queen.

From the get-go I was hooked. Hoffman has the knack for creating a narrative that is compelling. The main character, who remains nameless through the whole book, is a woman obsessed with death. As a young girl, she gets mad at her mom as she is driving away. In a moment of fury, she wishes her mom dead. It is the dead of winter and the next day, the young girl wakes up to find that her mom was killed in a car accident. Her wish had come true.

Later in the story, the girl moves to Florida with her brother. Florida is the lightning capital of the world. The woman is fascinated by lightning. So fascinated she wonders what it would be like to be struck by it. So she wishes, out loud, that she would be struck by lightning.

It happens.

Hoffman describes the effects of lightning strikes on people. The narrator, for instance, can no longer see red after she is struck. She is also constantly cold and she begins to refer to herself as an ice queen because she can no longer feel.

Then she meets Lazarus. A man who was struck by lightning, died, and then came back to life. She is fascinated by him because he could be someone that would not be affected by her death wishes. An odd romance ensues between the narrator and Lazarus.

There is more but I will not spoil it for you. Go find it and read it. It is really a story about the redemptive power of love.

I loved how Hoffman made the surreal and the real entwine. It felt like a magical book but there really was no magic in it. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Jodi Picoult or other authors like her.


  1. Nice review! I will have to put that on my list! By the way, I love your last post about "The Man" I know this book is totally fiction and possibly drudgery in your world of English Literature, but it is about S.P. and it has some fun consiperacy theories in it. :o) Interred With Their Bones, by Susan Carroll. I think you would fly through the book, it's an easy Summer read.

  2. I have never read Jody Picoult, but just received "My Sister's Keeper," as a MUST READ from my neighbor. It's sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get up the gumption to read it. I love your reviews. It makes me realize how much more I need to read--and that it's ok to read what I like and not necessarily just best sellers to stay up in the game...not that I do that anyway, but sometimes I FEEL like I need to. And not saying that best sellers are bad because obviously they are best sellers for a reason. You know what I mean, right? :)