Reading guide for The Ice Child by Elizabeth McGregor

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

The Ice Child

by Elizabeth McGregor

The Ice Child
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2001, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2002, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Introduction
When Jo Harper falls in love with maverick archaeologist Doug Marshall, she also falls into Doug's obsession: the disappearance of the Franklin Expedition. In 1845, Sir John Franklin and his crew of one hundred and twenty men sailed two ships to the Arctic and were never seen again. Doug has spent his career in search of what happened to them, sacrificing his first marriage and his relationship with his son, John, along the way. But as he and Jo plan their future together, a shocking accident forever changes their lives.

Devastated by the accident, John goes into self-imposed hiding. Jo, feeling abandoned, is confronted by the unthinkable —her young son, Sam, has a life-threatening disease and his only hope of survival lies with John Marshall. Desperate to find John, Jo soon learns that his fate is curiously tied to the Franklin Expedition. Haunted by Franklin and his own past, John has ventured into the ice floes of the Arctic in search of answers to what happened to Franklin's crew and to his own life. Unbeknownst to him, a frantic search is on; not only to save his life, but the life of another he doesn't know is in jeopardy.


Discussion Questions
  1. Are there points of similarity between the three mothers (Jo, Alicia, and the polar bear) featured in The Ice Child?

  2. What points of similarity exist, if any, among the three sons of The Ice Child (John, Sam, and polar bear cub)?

  3. Does John's relationship with his father have any bearing on John's relationship with Catherine? Why or why not?
  4. As citizens of a modern age, do we have (or does the possibility exist for) an exploration that parallels what the Franklin Expedition meant to the people who lived in Victorian times? Does the story of The Ice Child provide one?

  5. What do you think motivates Alicia's change of heart towards Jo and Sam?
  6. Does the character of Catherine Takkiruq and her relationship to John, Jo, and Sam have any bearing to the relationship between the Esquimaux that Crozier encountered?

  7. Working from historical fact, author Elizabeth McGregor has imagined the possible outcome of the Franklin Expedition. From what you have read in The Ice Child, what circumstances prevented the Expedition from a successful outcome?

  8. Many of the characters in The Ice Child are searching for something—a passage, an answer, a reason, a cure. Is every search successful? Noble? Necessary?

For information about other Penguin Readers Guides, please call the Penguin Marketing Department at (800) 778-6425, email at reading@penguinputnam.com or write to them at: Penguin Books, Marketing Department CC, Readers' Guides, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014-3657

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Onyx. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

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.