The Ice Queen [NOOK Book]

Overview

Be careful what you wish for. A woman who was touched by tragedy as a child now lives a quiet life, keeping other people at a cool distance. She even believes she wants it that way. Then one day she utters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks a strange and powerful new beginning. After the lightning strike, the chill in her spirit starts to have physical manifestations. She feels frozen from the inside out, and ...
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The Ice Queen

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Overview

Be careful what you wish for. A woman who was touched by tragedy as a child now lives a quiet life, keeping other people at a cool distance. She even believes she wants it that way. Then one day she utters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks a strange and powerful new beginning. After the lightning strike, the chill in her spirit starts to have physical manifestations. She feels frozen from the inside out, and everything red looks as colorless as snow. Hearing of a fellow lightning-strike survivor - a man who was apparently dead for forty minutes, then simply got up and walked away - she goes in search of him. Perhaps Lazarus Jones, as he is known, can teach her to live without fear. He turns out to be her perfect opposite, a man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both hide their most dangerous secrets - what happened in the past that turned one to ice and the other to fire. And everyone in her fragile network of friends and family will be drawn into the conflagration of their joining. Alice Hoffman has written a magical story of passion, loss, and renewal. With a spareness and immediacy that only a master could achieve, she illuminates the bonds and mysteries that connect mother and daughter, sister and brother, woman and man.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Frozen in misery since age eight, when the mother she wished would disappear promptly obliged by dying in a car wreck, the thirtysomething unnamed narrator of Hoffman's hypnotic new novel has spent her life avoiding meaningful human contact. As a New Jersey reference librarian, she relentlessly pursues the details of death in all its countless causes while engaging in after-hours backseat trysting with a local cop. After settling near her brother in Florida, the narrator is struck by lightning. Now, with the color red stripped from her vision, she sees the ice that has surrounded her heart all these years. When she learns of a local legend named Lazarus Jones, dead for 40 minutes after his own strike, she feels compelled to track him down. Their affair ignites, literally, for Jones's aftereffects are so severe that touching him causes burns. Hoffman's genius allows the lovers to hang in suspended animation until the outside world intrudes, more threatening than the near-fatal electrical disruptions that have defined their lives. Less-skilled hands would have left readers awash in sticky metaphors of heat and ice. Have no such fear with the formidable Hoffman. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/04.]-Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-At the age of eight, the narrator learns the power of a spoken wish. Angry at her mother, she wishes never to see her again. When the woman dies in a car accident, the child resolves to be quiet and imagines her own fairy tale: a girl turns to ice and her heart becomes hard and unbreakable. As an adult, she becomes a reference librarian and an expert in death and ways of dying. Indifferent and unfeeling, she is unable to have meaningful relationships. She allows her brother to move her to Florida, where another wish is fulfilled: she is struck by lightning. Her hair falls out, she limps, she loses the ability to see the color red, and her heart freezes. Enrolled in a study of lightning victims, she learns about a local recluse who was dead for 40 minutes, then walked away. The nameless woman seeks him out; she wants to know what her mother experienced at the moment of death. They begin a passionate love affair. As opposites (she is ice, he is fire), the only way they can touch is in water. Hoffman incorporates elements of fairy tales ("The Snow Queen," "Beauty and the Beast"), chaos theory, and magic realism. Although the story borders on the trite and the dual imagery (fire/ice, heat/cold, red/colorless) is sometimes overdone, the narration is powerful and the ending is satisfying if a bit predictable. Hoffman's fans will find much that is familiar and appealing.-Sandy Freund, Richard Byrd Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The veteran, bestselling author (Blackbird House, 2004, etc.) takes risks-most of which pay off-in her dark tale of a woman literally struck by lightning. The unnamed narrator has been racked by guilt since she was eight, when she petulantly wished that her mother would disappear. Mom died in a car accident that very night, and the traumatized girl grows up into a quiet librarian with a violent interior life. Her preferred reading is the grimmest sort of fairy tale; she makes up one of her own about a girl who turns into ice so that "nothing could hurt her anymore." At the reference desk she specializes in information on ways to die, an expertise that leads her into a joyless sexual liaison with the local police chief. After the grandmother who raised them dies, the narrator's brother takes his severely depressed sister to Orlon, Fla., where he's a professor of meteorology. Peeved by his enthusiasm for the stormy weather en route, she wishes to be struck by lightning, and . . . you guessed it. The setup is schematic, and the gloomy narrator can be wearying, even when she embarks on a torrid affair with another lightning-strike survivor: Lazarus Jones, who's still so hot to the touch that they must have sex in water so he doesn't scorch her. But slowly, just as you're thinking you'll scream if you read another fairy-tale metaphor or gruesome description of the damage sustained by lightning victims, the narrator begins to be drawn out of her self-absorbed misery. Her brother and his wife are in desperate straits, Lazarus is not what he seems, and the shock of these discoveries jolts her into recognition that she cares for other people more than she's admitted. Despite what happened to hermother (which also proves to be not quite what it seemed), love is as necessary as breathing. And love "changed your whole world. Even when you didn't want it to." It takes a while to get to the beautiful closing pages, which give the narrator a happy ending she's more than earned, but this thickly textured, heavily metaphorical approach finally leads us to some genuine human emotion. Far from perfect, but Hoffman's more adventurous fans will appreciate this interesting effort. Author tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759513488
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 149,394
  • File size: 218 KB

Meet the Author

Alice  Hoffman
Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of nearly twenty acclaimed novels beloved by teens and adults, including Aquamarine and Practical Magic, both made into major motion pictures, as well as The Foretelling, Green Angel, The Ice Queen, and Here on Earth (an Oprah Book Club selection). She has also written the highly praised story collections Local Girls and Blackbird House. The author lives outside of Boston.

Biography

Born in the 1950s to college-educated parents who divorced when she was young, Alice Hoffman was raised by her single, working mother in a blue-collar Long Island neighborhood. Although she felt like an outsider growing up, she discovered that these feelings of not quite belonging positioned her uniquely to observe people from a distance. Later, she would hone this viewpoint in stories that captured the full intensity of the human experience.

After high school, Hoffman went to work for the Doubleday factory in Garden City. But the eight-hour, supervised workday was not for her, and she quit before lunch on her first day! She enrolled in night school at Adelphi University, graduating in 1971 with a degree in English. She went on to attend Stanford University's Creative Writing Center on a Mirrellees Fellowship. Her mentor at Stanford, the great teacher and novelist Albert Guerard, helped to get her first story published in the literary magazine Fiction. The story attracted the attention of legendary editor Ted Solotaroff, who asked if she had written any longer fiction. She hadn't -- but immediately set to work. In 1977, when Hoffman was 25, her first novel, Property Of, was published to great fanfare.

Since that remarkable debut, Hoffman has carved herself a unique niche in American fiction. A favorite with teens as well as adults, she renders life's deepest mysteries immediately understandable in stories suffused with magic realism and a dreamy, fairy-tale sensibility. (In a 1994 article for The New York Times, interviewer Ruth Reichl described the magic in Hoffman's books as a casual, regular occurrence -- "...so offhand that even the most skeptical reader can accept it.") Her characters' lives are transformed by uncontrollable forces -- love and loss, sorrow and bliss, danger and death.

Hoffman's 1997 novel Here on Earth was selected as an Oprah Book Club pick, but even without Winfrey's powerful endorsement, her books have become huge bestsellers -- including three that have been adapted for the movies: Practical Magic (1995), The River King (2000), and her YA fable Aquamarine (2001).

Hoffman is a breast cancer survivor; and like many people who consider themselves blessed with luck, she believes strongly in giving back. For this reason, she donated her advance from her 1999 short story collection Local Girls to help create the Hoffman Breast Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA.

Good To Know

  • Hoffman has written a number of children's books, including Fireflies: A Winter's Tale(1999), Horsefly (2000), and Moondog (2004).

  • Aquamarine was written for Hoffman's best friend, Jo Ann, who dreamed of the freedom of mermaids as she battled brain cancer.

  • Here on Earth is a modern version of Hoffman's favorite novel, Wuthering Heights.

  • Hoffman has been honored with the Massachusetts Book Award for her teen novel Incantation.
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      1. Hometown:
        Boston, Massachusetts
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 16, 1952
      2. Place of Birth:
        New York, New York
      1. Education:
        B.A., Adelphi University, 1973; M.A., Stanford University, 1974
      2. Website:

    Read an Excerpt

    The Ice Queen

    a novel
    By Alice Hoffman

    Little, Brown & Company

    ISBN: 0-316-15438-5


    Chapter One

    Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact. Wishes are brutal, unforgiving things, they burn your tongue the moment they're spoken and you can never take them back. They bruise and bake and come back to haunt you. I've made far too many wishes in my lifetime, the first when I was eight years old. Not the sort of wish for ice cream or a party dress or long, blond hair; no. The other sort, the kind that rattles your bones, then sits in the back of your throat, a greedy red toad that chokes you until you say it aloud.

    The kind that can change your life in an instant, before you have time to wish you can take it back.

    I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but don't all stories begin this way? The stranger who comes to town and wreaks havoc. The man who stumbles off a cliff on his wedding day. The woman who goes to look out the window when a bullet, or a piece of glass, or a blue-white icicle pierces her breast. 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. The only thing that mattered. Of course 1 was self-centered, but don't most eight year-old girls think they're the queen of the universe? Don't they command the stars and seas? Don't they control the weather? When I closed my eyes to sleep at night, I imagined the rest of the world stopped as well. What I wanted, I thought I should get. What I wished for, I deserved.

    I made my wish in January, the season of ice, when our house was cold and the oil bill went unpaid. It happened on the sixteenth, my mother's birthday. We had no father, my brother and I. Our father had run off; leaving Ned and me our dark eyes and nothing more. We depended on our mother. I especially didn't expect her to have a life of her own. I pouted when anything took her away, the bills that needed paying, the jobs that came and went, the dishes that needed washing, the piles of laundry. Endless, endless. Never ever done. That night my mother was going out with her two best friends to celebrate her birthday. I didn't like it one bit. It sounded like fun. She was off to the Bluebird Diner, a run-down place famous for its roast beef sandwiches and French fries with gravy. It was only a few hours on her own. It was just a tiny celebration.

    I didn't care.

    Maybe my father had been self-centered; maybe I'd inherited that from him along with the color of my eyes. I wanted my mother to stay home and braid my hair, which I wore long, to my waist. Loose, my hair knotted when I slept, and I worried; my brother had told me that bats lived in our roof. I was afraid they would fly into my room at night and make a nest in my head. I didn't want to stay home with my brother, who paid no attention to me and was interested more in science than in human beings. We argued over everything, including the last cookie in the jar, which we often grabbed at the same time. Let go! You first! Whatever we held often broke in our grasp. Ned had no time for a little sister's whims; he had to be bribed into reading to me. I'll do your chores. I'll give you my lunch money. Just read.

    My mother didn't listen to my complaints. She was preoccupied. She was in a rush. She put on her raincoat and a blue scarf. Her hair was pale. She'd cut it herself, straining to see the back of her head in the mirror. She couldn't afford a real haircut at a salon; still she was pretty. We didn't talk about being poor; we never discussed what we didn't have. We ate macaroni three times a week and wore heavy sweaters to bed; we made do. Did I realize that night was my mother's thirtieth birthday, that she was young and beautiful and happy for once? To me, she was my mother. Nothing less or more. Nothing that didn't include me.

    When she went to leave, I ran after her. I was barefoot on the porch and my feet stung. The rain had frozen and was hitting against the corrugated green fiberglass roof. It sounded like a gun. Ice had slipped onto the floorboards and turned the wood to glass. I begged my mother not to go. Queen of the universe. The girl who thought of no one but herself. Now I know the most desperate arguments are always over foolish things. The moment that changes the path of a life is the one that's invisible, that dissolves like sugar in water. But tell that to an eight-year-old girl. Tell it to anyone; see who believes you.

    When my mother said that Betsy and Amanda were waiting for her and that she was already late, I made my wish. Right away, I could feel it burning. I could taste the bitterness of it; still I went ahead. I wished I would never see her again. I told her straight to her face. I wished she would disappear right there, right then.

    My mother laughed and kissed me good-bye. Her kiss was clear and cold. Her complexion was pale, like snow. She whispered something to me, but I didn't listen. I wanted what I wanted. I didn't think beyond my own needs.

    My mother had to start the car several times before the engine caught. There was smoke in the air. The roof of the patio vibrated along with the sputtering engine of the car. I could feel the sourness inside me. And here was the odd thing about making that wish, the one that made her disappear: it hurt.

    "Come inside, idiot," my brother called to me. "The only thing you'll accomplish out there is freezing your ass off."

    Ned was logical; he was four years older, an expert on constellations, red ants, bats, invertebrates. He had often told me that feelings were a waste of time. I didn't like to listen to Ned, even when he was right, so on that night I didn't answer. He shouted out a promise to read to me, even if it had to be fairy tales, stories he held in contempt. Irrational, impossible, illogical things. Even that wasn't enough for me to end my vigil. I couldn't stop looking at the empty street. Soon enough my brother gave up on me. Didn't everyone? My feet had turned blue and they ached, but I stood out there on the porch for quite a while. Until my tongue stopped burning. I looked out the window, and even Ned came to see, but there was nothing out there. Only the snow.

    My mother had her accident on the service road leading to the Interstate. The police report blamed icy road conditions and bald tires that should have been replaced. But we were poor, did I tell you that? We couldn't afford new tires. My mother was half an hour late for her birthday dinner, then an hour; then her friend Betsy called the police. The next morning when our grandmother came to tell us the news, I braided my own hair for the first time, then cut it off with a pair of gardening shears. I left it behind for the bats. I didn't care. I'd started to wonder if my brother had been right all along. Don't feel anything. Don't even try.

    After the funeral, Ned and I moved into our grandmother's house. We had to leave some of our things behind: my brother his colony of ants, and I left all my toys. I was too old for them now. My grandmother called what I'd done to my hair a pixie cut, but could she give a name to what I'd done to my mother? I knew, but I wasn't saying. My grandmother was too kind a person to know who was living under her roof. I'd destroyed my mother with words, so words became my enemy. I quickly learned to keep my mouth shut.

    At night I told myself a story, wordless, inside my head, one I liked far better than those in my books. The girl in my story was treated cruelly, by fate, by her family, even by the weather. Her feet bled from the stony paths; her hair was plucked from her head by blackbirds. She went from house to house, looking for refuge. Not a single neighbor answered his door, and so one day the girl gave up speaking. She lived on the side of a mountain where every day was snowy. She stood outside without a roof, without shelter; before long she was made of ice-her flesh, her bones, her blood. She looked like a diamond; it was possible to spy her from miles away. She was so beautiful now that everyone wanted her: people came to talk to her, but she wouldn't answer. Birds lit on her shoulder; she didn't bother to chase them away. She didn't have to. If they took a single peck, their beaks would break in two. Nothing could hurt her anymore. After a while, she became invisible, queen of the ice. Silence was her language, and her heart had turned a perfect pale silver color. It was so hard nothing could shatter it. Not even stones.

    "Physiologically impossible," my brother said the one time I dared to tell him the story. "In such low temperatures, her heart would actually freeze and then burst. She'd wind up melting herself with her own blood."

    I didn't discuss such things with him again.

    I knew what my role was in the world. I was the quiet girl at school, the best friend, the one who came in second place. I didn't want to draw attention to myself. I didn't want to win anything. There were words I couldn't bring myself to say; words like ruin and love and lost made me sick to my stomach. In the end, I gave them up altogether. But I was a good grandchild, quick to finish tasks, my grandmother's favorite. The more tasks, the less time to think. I swept, I did laundry, I stayed up late finishing my homework. By the time I was in high school, I was everyone's confidante; I knew how to listen. I was there for my friends, a tower of strength, ever helpful, especially when it came to their boyfriends, several of whom slept with me in senior year, grateful for my advice with their love lives, happy to go to bed with a girl who asked for nothing in return.

    My brother went to Harvard, then to Cornell for his graduate degree; he became a meteorologist, a perfect choice for someone who wanted to impose logic onto an imperfect world. He was offered a position at Orlon College, in Florida, and before long he was a full professor, married to a mathematician, Nina, whom he idolized for her rational thought and beautiful complexion. As for me, I looked for a career where silence would be an asset. I went to the state university a few towns over, then to City College for a master's in library science. My brother found it especially amusing that my work was considered a science, but I took it quite seriously. I was assigned to the reference desk, still giving advice, as I had in high school; still the one to turn to for information. I was well liked at the library, the reliable employee who collected money for wedding presents and organized baby showers. When a co-worker moved to Hawaii I was persuaded to adopt her cat, Giselle, even though I was allergic.

    But there was another, hidden side to me. My realest self. The one who remembered how the ice fell down, drop by bitter drop. The one who dreamed of cold, silver hearts. A devotee of death. I had become something of an expert on the many ways to die, and like any expert I had my favorites: bee stings, poisoned punch, electric shock. There were whole categories I couldn't get enough of: death by misadventure or by design, death pacts, death to avoid the future, death to circumvent the past. I doubted whether anyone else in the library was aware that rigor mortis set in within four hours. If they knew that when heated, arsenic had a garlic like odor. The police captain in town, Jack Lyons, who'd been in my brother's class in high school, often called for information regarding poison, suicide, infectious diseases. He trusted me, too.

    Once I began researching death, I couldn't stop. It was my calling; I suppose it was a passion. I ordered medical texts, entomology books, the Merck manual of pharmaceuticals so as to be well versed in toxic side effects when Jack Lyons called. My favorite reference book was A Hundred Ways to Die, a guide for the terminally ill, those who might be in dire need of methods and procedures for their own demise. Still, I always asked Jack if he hadn't someone more qualified than I to do his research, but he said, "I know I'll just get the facts from you. No interpretations."

    In that regard, he was wrong. I was quiet, but I had my opinions: when asked to recommend which fairy tales were best for an eight-year-old, for instance, Anderson's or Grimm's, I always chose Grimm's. Bones tied in silken cloth laid to rest under a juniper tree, boys who were foolish and brave enough to play cards with Death, wicked sisters whose own wickedness led them to hang themselves or jump headfirst into wells. On several occasions there had been complaints to the head librarian when irate mothers or teachers had inadvertently scared the daylights out of a child on my recommendation. All the same, I stood my ground. Andersen's world was filled with virtuous, respectable characters. I preferred tales in which selfish girls who lost their way needed to hack through brambles in order to reach home, and thoughtless, heedless brothers were turned into donkeys and swans, fleas itching like mad under their skin, blood shining from beneath their feathers. I didn't believe that people got what they deserved. I didn't believe in a rational, benevolent world that could be ordered to suit us, an existence presumed to fit snugly into an invented logic. I had no faith in pie charts or diagrams of humanity wherein the wicked were divided from the good and the forever after was in direct opposition to the here and now.

    When I walked home from the library on windy nights, with the leaves swirling, and all of New Jersey dark and quiet, I wouldn't have been surprised to find a man with one wing sitting on the front steps of Town Hall, or to come upon a starving wolf on the corner of Fifth Street and Main. I knew the power of a single wish, after all. Invisible and inevitable in its effect, like a butterfly that beats its wings in one corner of the globe and with that single action changes the weather halfway across the world. Chaos theory, my brother had informed me, was based on the mathematical theorem that suggests that the tiniest change affects everything, no matter how distant, including the weather. My brother could call it whatever he wanted to; it was just fate to me.

    (Continues...)



    Excerpted from The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman Excerpted by permission.
    All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
    Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 3.5
    ( 62 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (20)

    4 Star

    (18)

    3 Star

    (14)

    2 Star

    (6)

    1 Star

    (4)

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
    • Posted April 10, 2010

      I Also Recommend:

      Nameless Narrator

      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.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted September 25, 2011

      more from this reviewer

      One of my all time favoites......poetry to the hungry soul

      Excellent!!

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 23, 2011

      Disappointing- Don't let the Overview fool you!!!

      I have read many of Alice Hoffman's novels and enjoyed every single one of them but I was very disappointed in this book. When reading the overview I thought it seemed interesting. Boy was I wrong! It was slow and very depressing and a HUGE waste of my time. To me, it didn't seem as if there was much of a plot or climax and it was just plain boring. The book is only 138 pages but it took me 2 weeks to read because I had to force myself to pick it up. Also paying $9.99 for 138 pages?!?!?!? I was really upset about that too.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 3, 2014

      Dun da dun dun dun da dun dun dun dun dun dun

      Let it go let go!

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted December 30, 2012

      Eldersden

      — Icestar—

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted August 6, 2011

      Loved it, besides.......

      I love Alice Hoffman & I really did love this book! Besides the nameless narrator. It had a good story behind it though.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted July 4, 2011

      Horrid. Indeniably boring.

      This author starts at point a jumps to point f jumps back to point b and so forth. I am an avid reader but i would not recommend it to anyone that was even minutely sane. I wouldnt even let a insane person read it. I am so glad i borrowed it from the library instead of buying it. Take my advice do not read this book.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted June 4, 2011

      Kritters Ramblings

      A book that flowed like a stream consciousness - which unfortunately I wasn't a fan of. The story overall was intriguing, but because of the writing style, it wasn't my favorite.

      The use of strong adverbs made me fall in love with her descriptions of the "effects" of lightning strike survivors. I adored the relationship between the brother and sister and how the early death of their mother affected the both of them in two totally different ways. But through these likes, I still had a hard time reading and enjoying this one.

      I would only recommend this book to those who love things that are artsy. Imagery and visualization would be key when reading this book.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted March 12, 2010

      The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman, good read

      Well written, by an incredible author, this story is imaginative and deep. Deals with loss and acceptance, and takes you on a journey of personal insight as the main character, a librarian from New Jersey deals with abandonment and death obsessions and moves on to a lighter place

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted September 20, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      Self Introspect

      Alice definitely knows her stuff when it comes to Lightning! The story line was a bit sad as the main character was so determined to self-destruct until she realized the gifts she was endowed with. I felt my own history come through the character on several occasions and also knew that I had discovered my own talents and gifts over the years as well.

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    • Posted July 26, 2009

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      Left Me Cold

      I wanted to love this book; unfortunately, that was not the case. The story's main character was overy tragic. The backstory concerning her mother's death lacked depth, and, her brother, who seems absent through most of the story, I cared very little about even as he deals with some devistating news. The relationship between her and Lazerus Jones seemed doomed from the beginning so the outcome was no surprise. Though it is a relatively short novel, it took me several weeks to get through it. If I had to judge this book based on not having read any Alice Hoffman novels, I would give it an average grade. But, having read two others I enjoyed much more, I found this one very disappointing.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 19, 2009

      Depressing

      To me the book was very depressing. Even though the characters were finding ways to cope with what life had dealt them, there was always an underlying feeling of heaviness and darkness the whole way through.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 24, 2009

      Fast read, but gripping!

      This was an interesting story, and even left me a bit confused at the end, but that will only spur me to read it again! The plot unraveled slowly, and never gave itself away. I read it in one night, since it isn't a very long book - I would definitely recommend it!

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    • Posted October 19, 2008

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      The best!

      This is the best of alice hoffmans work. I love this book. I have read it four times and it still takes my breath away.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 25, 2008

      fast and entertaining!

      I found this book to be easy to follow and very relaxing to read. The only downside is i feel like she didnt finish some of the short problems i think some of the ideas got cut short it would have been better if this book was a little longer! but still it was a good book!

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 4, 2008

      Disapointing

      It was not one of the best books I have read. I thought there were to many story lines and none of them seemed to be the main plot. The ending only made me angry and left me feeling like there should me more to the 'stories'

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 7, 2008

      A little strange...

      The book has a great premise, and it was interesting to learn about lightening strikes. However, it was written in an odd way, with a lot of superfluous musings and no real central plot and therefore, no closing/climax. I finished it, but wasn't impressed.

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    • Posted February 2, 2009

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      A reviewer

      Remember childhood superstitions? 'Step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back.' So, as youngsters we did all we could do to avoid those sidewalk cracks. How about wishing upon a star? Many of us once believed that if you wished upon the first star you saw at night and wished hard enough that wish just might come true. Fortunately, most of us do not have the ability of Alice Hoffman's narrator who begins her story by saying, 'Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact. Wishes are brutal, unforgiving things, they burn your tongue the moment they're spoken and you can never take them back. They bruise and bake and come back to haunt you. I've made far too many wishes in my lifetime, the first when I was eight years old.' Her wish was that she would never see her mother again, and that proved to be true. A fatal automobile accident on an icy road takes her mother's life and forever changes our heroine who grows up to become a librarian, an ice queen if you will, remaining apart, aloof and trying to convince herself that she does not care. Ned, her older brother by four years, takes a different route. He becomes a meteorologist, studying adverse weather conditions. In adulthood he invites her to join him in Florida. Once there, she is struck by lightning which serves to melt her long nurtured reserve. There are many other survivors of lightning strikes, one in particular - Lazarus Jones, who was supposedly dead for forty minutes after being struck. Once she begins to thaw the ice queen realizes all that she has been missing and seeks out Lazarus. The love affair that develops between them is pure Hoffman - a bit of magic as fire meets ice. Written in impeccable prose, The Ice Queen is superbly crafted, the work of a master wordsmith. This all too brief story is an affirmation of life and all that it offers it is one we will not soon forget. Enjoy! - Gail Cooke

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    • Posted February 2, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      AN AFFIRMATION OF LIFE AND ALL THAT IT OFFERS

      Remember childhood superstitions? 'Step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back.' So, as youngsters we did all we could do to avoid those sidewalk cracks. How about wishing upon a star? Many of us once believed that if you wished upon the first star you saw at night and wished hard enough that wish just might come true. Fortunately, most of us do not have the ability of Alice Hoffman's narrator who begins her story by saying, 'Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact. Wishes are brutal, unforgiving things, they burn your tongue the moment they're spoken and you can never take them back. They bruise and bake and come back to haunt you. I've made far too many wishes in my lifetime, the first when I was eight years old.' Her wish was that she would never see her mother again, and that proves to be true. A fatal automobile accident on an icy road takes her mother's life and forever changes our heroine who grows up to become a librarian, an ice queen if you will, remaining apart, aloof and trying to convince herself that she does not care. Ned, her older brother by four years, takes a different route. He becomes a meteorologist, studying adverse weather conditions. In adulthood he invites her to join him in Florida. Once there, she is struck by lightning which serves to melt her long nurtured reserve. There are many other survivors of lightning strikes, one in particular - Lazarus Jones, who was supposedly dead for forty minutes after being struck. Once she begins to thaw the ice queen realizes all that she has been missing and seeks out Lazarus. The love affair that develops between them is pure Hoffman - a bit of magic as fire meets ice. Written in impeccable prose, The Ice Queen is superbly crafted, the work of a master wordsmith. This all too brief story is an affirmation of life and all that it offers. it is one we will not soon forget. Stage, film and television actress Nancy Travis gives a superb voice performance, appropriately reflecting first the pain and then the recovery of a human spirit. - Gail Cooke

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 31, 2006

      A thrilling story from begining to end

      The story starts off about a girl and all the traumatic things that happen in her life. Throughout the book it seems as though the seasons change from winter to spring. It shows another side of a person¿s life, that you wouldn¿t expect. Throughout the book, it seems like you could feel some sort of sympathy for her. Her transformation being a quite mysterious person to an open joyous woman compels the reader to want more. Keeping her name anonymous throughout the books questions the reader the whole time. Getting struck by lightening is just a beginning to this mystical story of desire, hope and love. Ice Queen is one of the best books that Alice Hoffman has ever written. I liked the book because it had a mysterious tone to it. Her name being anonymous and how you can feel some sort of compassion for her brings more interest to the story. To see her transformation throughout the book from a delicate bud to a blooming rose showed an original idea for this book. It seems like you are the bird eyes view of this person. I liked how it dealt with certain topics that was part of the story. The story flow had a nice theme of a girl with a frozen heart and slowly thawing out in the end.

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