Jul 4, 2012

The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

The Ice Queen

Written by Alice Hoffman


Reading Source: Library
Genre: Fiction, Deep Meanings
Rating:  5 Stars

Amazon Book Description: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.


My Review: 

When I picked up this book, I was expecting something totally different. After all, I had searched for "paranormal romance," I guess I didn't include 'special quirks due to natural disaster' as paranormal activity. That is my only real gripe with this book, and it's not even something the author did, it was my library's fault.... After reading the description of the book (as you can also read above...) I was intrigued. I borrowed the book anyway. By no means did I expect to find a new "favorite" book.

Notes:

  • I find myself wanting to summarize the entire book for you - I loved it that much. Here is my compromise: I will warn you that I may say something to giveaway an important point - but I am trying not to. I just love this book and cannot help but to gush like a crazed fan girl. 
  • The narrator is never named, therefore I view her to be the namesake of the book. So I will refer to her as "the Ice Queen" rather than some ambiguous title.  


This book was deep and though provoking. It deals with death and it makes it beautiful. Every stage of grief is covered, not in a short period of time, but throughout the course of the Ice Queen's life. Being struck by death at a very young age has shaped her core self, and has caused a coldness to consume the Ice Queen. After being struck by lightening, she has a physical manifestation of the mental limitations she has placed upon herself. The mental limitations are subconscious to her "adult self" but were most likely purposeful by the "child self".

As the Ice Queen grows in age, her mental limitations become second nature and therefore, are not noticeable to her. The people who care for her deeply, namely a Police Captain and the Ice Queen's grandmother, can see that  she is not "living" and try urging her to drop her barriers. However, she simply cannot see the problem. Then tragedy strikes twice in a short period and she is forced to see her mental barriers as physical manifestations.

The growth and emotion in this novel are fantastic. This is the kind of book that forces you too look at a subject that is often misunderstood and feared. It makes it into something that is still a tragedy, but that can be seen as a blessing. I helps provide an image of the "big picture" -- the cycle of life and rebirth.