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The Ice Queen: A Novel Paperback – January 3, 2006
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
An almost invisible librarian from New Jersey lives an almost invisible life, carefully removing herself from any emotional attachments after the death of her mother when she was a young girl.
Her older brother, Ned, is her portal to the outside world. When their grandmother dies, Ned moves her to Florida, where's he's a married professor.
On a particulary hot day, the librarian (whose name is never given) survives a direct hit by lightning. She reluctantly agrees to become part of a study with other lightning strike survivors. She hears of a man named Lazarus Jones . . . nicknamed so because he was apparently dead for 40 minutes after a lightning strike, woke up, and simply walked out the hospital.
Our ice queen is compelled to find Lazarus Jones and hear his side of the story. Jones, it seems, is still burning (literally) from the strike, while our heroine's world has gone cold and gray (literally).
One of the wonderful things about reading anything Hoffman writes is that you must suspend your traditional beliefs and abandon universal truths to completely "get" her stories.
I read the book in one sitting. Mystical. Intriguing. Thought-provoking. Ultimately satisfying.
Yep. That's Hoffman at her best.
Later, when the woman's brother, Ned, moves his sister to Florida from New Jersey, the thirty-something woman remains as frozen and isolated as a princess in a fairy tale. Carelessly, she makes another fateful wish, to be struck by lightning. Viola! Once more her wish is granted. Now a survivor of a lightning strike, like others gathered for a scientific study, the woman has great difficulty returning to a normal life. But this lady has already marked herself, believing she has the ability to wish away life or bring on a lightning strike.
Through her meetings with other survivors, the woman, like a turtle, gradually pokes her head out to notice the others who inhabit the world, even in this bizarre situation. Piqued by curiosity about a man who is dead for forty minutes before returning to life, she follows an impulse to meet Lazarus Jones. They are opposites, he fire and she ice. They meet in the dark, igniting each other, a combustible romance that cannot last but is impossible to resist.
The woman's long, slow awakening is the theme of the novel, her quest to understand death and free herself from the restraints that have turned her life into a hollow shell: "The way to trick death. Breathe in. Breathe out.Read more ›
After the loss of her mother when she was a child, a loss she blames herself for as one could think only a child could, the protagonist becomes rigid and emotionally devoid. Her reaction is understandably modern response as many today insulate themselves into not feeling anything rather than feeling both pleasure and pain. It is also the response found often in traumatized children. However some of the themes of this book actually harken back to the works of the ancient Greeks.
Her brother becomes a meteorologist in contrast to "the ice queen" and here we have two approaches to our lives: the logical and the mystical.
However her wishes again become reality as an adult when she is struck by lightening. So is the ice queen omnipotent or hounded by the Furies?
First believing she caused a death, then as an adult surviving death she find herself seeking out a man nicknamed "Lazerus" who was also struck by lightening. Ah, the Gods!
Through it all the ice queen journeys on a path of enlightenment.
This is my first exposure to Alice Hoffman's work and I find it both enchanting and intellectually satisfying. A Jungian fairy tale that I recommend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
ALice Hoffman is always a mystical writer and I enjoy her vast knowledge of plants and their properties. Great readPublished 14 days ago by grandma of 8
She has a way with words, that are so beautiful and painful at the same time! This is the second book I've read and she is becoming one of my favorite authors.Published 1 month ago by Tiffany H. Rackham
Just another fine bit of work from Alice. characters, plot line and pace, all just right. Redemption, second chances, misfits, love and drama... it's all here.Published 1 month ago by Chuck
At first I didn't care for the book, it got better as the story unfolded. I loved the ending, it had a great message.Published 3 months ago by Lorraine J. Nelson
Alice Hoffman is my favorite writer. She tells a great story. Always holds my attention. I love her and wish for more
books by her,
Unbelievably unbelievably story. Felt like snow falling in June and I want to read it again even though I know how it ends.Published 3 months ago by Nailah Shami