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Summary and book reviews of The Ice Child by Elizabeth McGregor

The Ice Child

by Elizabeth McGregor

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

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Book Summary

Takes readers on an epic journey into the heart of the Arctic--and into one of history's most fascinating mysteries--to tell a breathtaking story of faith, courage, and a mother's indomitable love.

In The Ice Child, Elizabeth McGregor takes readers on an epic journey into the heart of the Arctic--and into one of history's most fascinating mysteries--to tell a breathtaking story of faith, courage, and a mother's indomitable love.

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 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. 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.

Prologue

The great white bear lifted her head, narrowing her eyes against the driving Arctic snow. She looked back along the rubble ice to the cub that followed her, waiting for him in the white-on-white landscape.

All around her the ice of Victoria Strait groaned as it moved, compressed by the pressure that flooded from the Beaufort Sea, forcing its way through Melville Sound toward the Northwest Passage.

It was desperately cold. Colder, certainly, than a man could tolerate for long. But the bear did not register the temperature, padded as she was by four inches of fat and insulating fur. She was in her country, her kingdom, impervious to any law but her own.

The Greeks called this place Arktikos, the country of the great bear. From November to February it kept the long watches of the world's night; but in the spring it was more alive than any other country.

Three million fulmars, kittiwakes, murres, and guillemots fed in Lancaster Sound in the summer; ...

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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 ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

See the author do her hardest to tie this triple-threat plot together in every possible way. The polar bear is a mother too, with a sick cub. Hopelessly contrived.

Booklist

The resonance of history is hardly an unusual theme, but in McGregor's adept hands it becomes the stuff of a riveting narrative certain to hold the attention of fiction readers across genres.... Readers will have no desire to escape this all-consuming novel until the last page is turned.

Publishers Weekly

This dramatic, fast-paced tale of adventure, survival, romance, and enduring parental love...should reach a broad audience here.... Bearing all the hallmarks of a great summer read, this novel hits all the bases.

Author Blurb Lauren Belfer, author of City of Light
What an extraordinary novel! The Ice Child seemed to take over my life during the days I read it.

Reader Reviews
I prefer not to disclose

"I felt the exposition of this book was well written and kept the reader reading. But as I read on, I became more and more dulled by the book and I feel that a little more suspense could of been used to catch the readers attention."

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    The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph; part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, they set out in the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage. Years later, trapped in a landscape of encroaching ice and darkness, endlessly cold, and with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive as an ...

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