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The Ice Queen: A Novel by Alice Hoffman

The Ice Queen: A Novel (edition 2006)

by Alice Hoffman

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1,923785,181 (3.46)118
Title:The Ice Queen: A Novel
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Back Bay Books (2006), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman



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English (76)  Dutch (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Very interesting book. I will read more by this one. Her writing style is intoxicating. ( )
  annabw | Feb 21, 2017 |
While this book was pretty interesting I didn't enjoy it that much. It is very well written but also very depressing. I certainly don't expect every book to be sunshine and giggles through the whole story but this one is a downer for pretty much the whole book. The main character does grow which is nice but it's not enough to make the book worth it in my opinion. ( )
  KeriLynneD | Sep 20, 2016 |
Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact. Wishes are brutal, unforgiving things.

How's that for an opening?!

After losing her mother at the age of eight, the unnamed narrator decides she doesn't deserve much of a life. She builds a fortress between her and others, allows her heart to freeze solid, she merely exists. Until 30 years later, the day she's struck by lightening.

"Everyone has them. I mean one defining secret. The essence of a person. If you figure that out, you figure out the riddle of that particular human being."

The Ice Queen was my first time reading Alice Hoffman, and I'm kinda surprised at how fluffy this story was. For some reason I was expecting something darker. Or maybe it was the romance that made it feel fluffy? Sure, there were some heavy issues tackled (I even cried a teensy bit) but closing the book I was left with an overall feeling of warmth, of hope, which I admit was nice.

"This is what I know, the one and only thing. The best way to die is while you're living."

3.5 stars (I look forward to reading many more books by Hoffman.)


"If Frances York had known what I was doing, I would have been fired on the spot. What people read revealed so much about them that she considered our card catalog a treasure house of privileged secrets; each card contained the map of an individual's soul."

"This would be the moment I would never let go of, even though it caused me the greatest pain. When I was old, when I couldn't walk or talk or see, I would still have this."

After finishing the book, I couldn't help feeling like the main character's story mirrored that of the fairy tale she liked least, "Godfather Death," and that her brother switched places with her because the way she was "living" wasn't really a life, and it seemed as if he saved her life by dying. ( )
1 vote flying_monkeys | Sep 7, 2016 |
A quick and great read. Hoffman combines science, nature, and the supernatural with this tale of lightning strike survivors. ( )
  RojaHorchata | Jul 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
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Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316154385, Paperback)

A solitary New Jersey librarian whose favorite book is a guide to suicide methods is struck by lightning in Alice Hoffman's superb novel, The Ice Queen. Orphaned at the age of eight after angrily wishing she would never see her mother again, our heroine found herself frozen emotionally: "I was the child who stomped her feet and made a single wish and in so doing ended the whole world‹my world, at any rate." Her brother Ned solved the pain of their mother's death by becoming a meteorologist: applying reason and logic to bad weather. Eventually, he invites our heroine to move down to Florida, where he teaches at a university. Here, while trying to swat a fly, she is struck by lightning (the resulting neurological damage includes an inability to see the color red). Orlon County turns out to receive two thirds of all the lightning strikes in Florida each year, and our heroine soon becomes drawn into the mysteries of lightning: the withering of trees and landscape near a strike, the medical traumas and odd new abilities of victims, the myths of renewal. Although a recluse, she becomes fascinated by a legendary local farmer nicknamed Lazarus Jones, said to have beaten death after a lightning strike: to have seen the other side and come back. The burning match to her cool reserve--her personal unguided tour through Hades--Lazarus will prove to be the talisman that restores her to girlhood innocence and possibility.

Hoffman's story advances with a feline economy of language and movement--not a word spared for the color of the sky, unless the color of the sky factors into the narrative. Among the authors who have played with the fairy tale's harsh mercies (e.g. Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter), Hoffman has the closest understanding of the primal fears that drive the genre, and why, perhaps, we never outgrow fairy stories, but only learn to substitute dull, wholesome qualities like personal initiative or good timing for the elements that raise the hairs on our neck and send us scrambling for the light switch. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After a small town librarian survives a lightning strike, she seeks out a fellow survivor in a quest for meaning, only to begin an obsessive love affair between two opposites joined by a single common thread.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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Average: (3.46)
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