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 by Elizabeth McGregor X
The Ice Child by Elizabeth McGregor
  • 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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Women Talking
    Women Talking
    by Miriam Toews
    Miriam Toews' Women Talking is a circadian novel, unfolding over a span of just a few hours and ...
  • Book Jacket: Confessions of an Innocent Man
    Confessions of an Innocent Man
    by David R. Dow
    It is circumstance that carries the wave that sweeps trendy Houston restaurateur Rafael Zhettah to ...
  • Book Jacket: Memories of the Future
    Memories of the Future
    by Siri Hustvedt
    I've never kept a journal, but my mother has written in hers for years, the annual volumes she's ...
  • Book Jacket: Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
    Rajeev Balasubramanyam encapsulates the theme of Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss in its first ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Greek to Me
    by Mary Norris

    The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Affairs of the Falcóns
    by Melissa Rivero

    A beautiful, urgent novel about the lengths one woman is willing to go to build a new life.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Fly Girls
by Keith O'Brien

How five daring women defied all odds and made aviation history.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Ecstasy

Win copies to share with friends or your book club!

Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, author, daughter, mother, wife, lover, and muse.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A B Penny A T U

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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.