Summary and book reviews of The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

The Ice Queen

by Alice Hoffman

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

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Book Summary

A magical story of loss and renewal and illuminates the bonds and mysteries that connect mother and daughter, sister and brother, woman and man.

From the bestselling author of Practical Magic, an enthralling tale of a woman struck by lightning, who finds her frozen heart suddenly burning Be careful what you wish for. A woman touched by tragedy as a child lives a quiet life, keeping others at a distance. She wants it that way. Then she utters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But she survives. Now the chill in her spirit starts to have physical manifestations. She feels frozen from the inside out, and everything red looks colorless. Hearing of another lightning strike survivor - a man who was dead for forty minutes before reawakening - she goes in search of him. He is her perfect opposite, a man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an affair begins between them, both hide dangerous secrets-the incidents that turned one to ice and the other to fire. Alice Hoffman has written a magical story of loss and renewal and illuminates the bonds and mysteries that connect mother and daughter, sister and brother, woman and man.

Chapter One
Snow

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. I KNOW that for a fact. Wishes are brutal, unforgiving things. They burn your tongue the moment they're spoken and you can never take them back. They bruise and bake and come back to haunt you. I've made far too many wishes in my lifetime, the first when I was eight years old. Not the sort of wish for ice cream or a party dress or long blond hair; no. The other sort, the kind that rattles your bones, then sits in the back of your throat, a greedy red toad that chokes you until you say it aloud. The kind that could change your life in an instant, before you have time to wish you could take it back.

I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but don't all stories begin this way? The stranger who comes to town and wreaks havoc. The man who stumbles off a cliff on his wedding day. The woman who goes to look ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

It takes a while to get to the beautiful closing pages, which give the narrator a happy ending she's more than earned, but this thickly textured, heavily metaphorical approach finally leads us to some genuine human emotion. Far from perfect, but Hoffman's more adventurous fans will appreciate this interesting effort.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Blanketed in prose that has never been dreamier and gloriously vivid imagery, this life-affirming fable is ripe with Hoffman's trademark symbolism and magic, but with a steelier edge.

Booklist - Donna Seaman

As Hoffman's spellbinding and wonderfully insightful tale unfurls, she pays charming tribute to librarians, revels in metaphors of hot and cold, and poetically explores the meaning of trust, the chemistry of healing, and the reach of love.

Library Journal

Less-skilled hands would have left readers awash in sticky metaphors of heat and ice. Have no such fear with the formidable Hoffman. Highly recommended.

Reader Reviews

Toast

love or obsession?
I'm 18 years old and I will be moving out this summer and starting a new life. I believe this is my new favorite book. It is very well written, as most of Hoffman’s books are and has great imagery and metaphors. Her views on love and death are so ...   Read More

Nancy

The Ice Queen
I absolutely loved this book!! I couldn't put it down. This is the first Alice Hoffman novel I have read and can't wait to read her other books. I have recommended this to my family and friends. She is truly unique!!

Nancy

The Ice Queen
This is the first Alice Hoffman novel I ever read and I absolutely loved it!! I can't wait to read her other books. I plan on recommending this to all my friends. She is truly unique!!

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