The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
My review: 4 of 5 stars
The Ice Queen is the third book by Alice Hoffman that I’ve read. Easily read in one sitting at only 211 pages, I found it to be captivating in some ways, but lacking a bit in others. The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things set such high expectations. The Ice Queen incorporates Hoffman’s magical realism as well as interesting research, in this case about lightning. I immediately related to the main character because she is a quiet librarian. I was sympathetic toward her although she would not have appreciated my sympathy. The Ice Queen is a fairy tale inspired by fairy tales (of the Grimm variety). The book offers humor, anecdotes, and insight into the human condition. Some causes and effects were questionable, but all in all The Ice Queen is well-worth an afternoon read. The reactions in book club were mixed. Some hated it. A few loved it. Most fell in between like me and enjoyed it well enough.
Visit Alice Hoffman’s website for a synopsis, reading guide and excerpt.
“What I wanted, I thought I should get. What I wished for, I deserved” (p. 4).
“I had lost something before I’d known its worth, and now it was too late” (p. 23).
“It’s the living that scares me most of all” (p. 56).
“The possibility of being blown out like a match made us burn” (p. 84).
“-the elements most drawn to each other are the ones that destroy each other” (p. 85).
“The best way to die is while you’re living…” (p. 211).