Excerpt from The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Ice Queen

by Alice Hoffman

The Ice Queen
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2006, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Ned had not only handled my grandmother's affairs, he'd already done the research needed to set my life in order as well. He had found me a job, at the public library in Orlon, and a cottage to rent only a few blocks from the university campus. We debated the merits of a move. Statistically, the odds weren't on Ned's side. Had money been involved, I would have bet my future consisted of twenty more years in my grandmother's house, wearing my bathrobe. But my brother was a worthy opponent, methodical if nothing else, and a challenge never deterred him, even if that challenge was me.

While I was moping about and eating cornflakes, Ned packed up the house, called the real estate agent, had new tires put on my car. And so it was. I was leaving New Jersey. My colleagues wanted to give me a going-away party at the library, but without me, there was no one to organize it. I took the cat with me. I had no choice. Giselle jumped in the car and made herself comfortable on my brother's jacket, ensuring that Ned would sneeze all the way down to Florida.

It was an unseasonably hot day when we left. The air was sulfur-colored, gray around the edges, and the humidity was at 98 percent.

"This will get you used to Florida." Ned was oddly joyful.

There was sheet lightning ahead of us on the New Jersey Turnpike, the silent sort that is so vivid it can light up the whole sky. My brother was delighted by the weather; his department was currently involved in a lightning study and he was one of the project advisers.

"Without thunderstorms, the earth would lose its electrical charge in less than an hour," Ned told me.

He kept notes on the storm as I drove. I was used to being alone, accustomed to talking to myself; without thinking, I made another wish aloud, despite how it burned. I wished lightning would strike me.

"Like hell you do," my brother said. One of the tasks of the meteorology department at Orlon was to work with a team of physicians and biologists, addressing neurological injuries found in lightning-strike victims. "You have no idea of the damage that can be done. None whatsoever."

But it didn't really matter. I had made another death wish, and I could tell what was to come from the bitter taste in my mouth.

It was too late to take it back.


Chapter Two

THE CAT WASN'T AT ALL HAPPY WITH THE MOVE. I couldn't blame her. Orlon was hardly a paradise. Cats, after all, are creatures of habit, said to become more attached to a place than to a person. This was certainly true of my alleged pet, who had never seemed to miss the original owner from whom I'd inherited her. Not for a moment had she sat by a window, waiting to be rescued. Why, she didn't even seem to recognize the existence of human beings. My prize. My pet.

Giselle, I'd call when she was out in the garden, but she'd only ignore me and flick her tail, as though I were another fly, one of the thousands that seemed to be breeding in Orlon. Even my own cat disliked me. What had I expected? Life was no better here in Orlon, despite what my brother had promised, only hotter, buggier, far more humid than New Jersey at its worst. The library where I found myself employed was underfunded: there was one other librarian, Frances York, who had worked at the same post for forty years and whose eyesight was now failing—hence my job. Untrustworthy as I might be, I was to be her eyes.

From The Ice Queen, pages 3-31 of the hardcover edition. Copyright © 2005 by Alice Hoffman. Reproduced with the permission of Little, Brown & Co.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Guineveres
    The Guineveres
    by Sarah Domet
    It's a human need to know one's own identity, to belong to someone, to yearn for a place ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win All the Gallant Men

All The Gallant Men

The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, 75 years after Pearl Harbor.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Y Eyes P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.