#48 ~ The Ice Queen

November 14, 2007 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Books, Childhood Memories, Family, Sexual Identity | 1 Comment
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The Ice Queen: A Novel by Alice Hoffman

Something I’ve never really warmed up to in general fiction is not naming the narrator. I suppose that author’s have their reasons. I might by it in circumstances where the reader could be the narrator or “anyone” could be the narrator. This is not the case in The Ice Queen, the story of a young woman who is plagued by relationships with other people after she wished her mother to never come home the night her mother’s car runs off the road and kills her. I don’t believe that this narrator could be “anyone,” so this narrative device doesn’t work for me. It frustrates me instead. That being said, I enjoyed reading this book and exploring the narrator’s world (henceforth referred to as Jane).

As I read the beginning of this book, I felt very much for Jane. As a child,who didn’t have negative “wishes” or thoughts about one’s parents from time to time? How would your life be different had your parent died before you saw them again? Jane simply determined that she was a selfish and unlovable soul. She became introverted and obsessed with death. Jane finds that she is a good listener and only has a series of casual sexual affairs throughout her life. As soon as a suitor indicates that he wants more than sex, she ends the relationship.

Jane and Ned, her older brother, were taken in by their maternal grandmother after the car accident. They were close as children. Jane grows up loving Grimm’s Fairy Tales while Ned prefers the scientific. He becomes a meteorologist and moves to Florida to work at Orlon University, the school at which his wife is also a professor. Jane remains in New Jersey. She becomes a research librarian and takes care of their grandmother. Although they haven’t remained close, Ned convinces Jane to move to Florida with him after their grandmother’s passing. On the way down there, Jane makes a near fatal wish to be struck by lighting. It didn’t take long for her wish to become reality.

This book explores how lives are impacted by one single factor. This story was an interesting story within which to wonder “what would happen if.” I enjoyed reading about her relationship with her brother and sister-in-law. Her struggles with friendships and adult relationships felt true to her. This may not be a story that will live with me forever o even next year, but I enjoyed my time in this world. It is a pleasant read. Everyone wishes for one of those every now and again.


To buy this novel, click here.

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