Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Friday, May 26, 2023

The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman- 2005 - 224 Pages

 The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman - 2005- 224 Pages

Alice Hoffman works I have so far read

The Marriage of Opposites- 2015
"Everything My Mother Taught Me" - 2016
"The Book Store Sisters" -2022
The Foretelling - 2006
"Conjure" - 2014
Aquamarine- 2001
The Ice Queen - 2006

The Ice Queen focuses on a woman we first meet in her early teens. She lives with her mother, her father deserted the family, and her older brother Ned. The mother, 32 is out for a very rare evening of socialising with two friends. The girl, whose name we never learn, wishes her mother will die and never come home. She does. The girl, who narrates the story and her brother go to live with an aunt. The girl retreats into a world of dark fairy tales and tries to avoid an emotional attachment to anyone. As she ages she while in high school has sex with the boyfriends of girls at her school she knows. She becomes a reference librarian. She starts an affair with a police officer, having frequent sex in his car. 

She is struck my lightning.

“It was the oddest thing. It was as though I were a cloud instead of a human being. I could feel the charged atoms in the air…While I was getting into bed there was a lightning strike nearly five miles away. The strike split a pine tree in two and started a fire that burned several houses down to ash. It was summer lightning, the kind that appears without thunder, without a sign. But I didn’t need anyone to tell me about it. It was the one thing I could feel deep inside.”

She moves to Florida to be near her brother, now a university mathematics professor and his wife, also a professor.

She becomes part of a group of lighting strike victims being studied at the University.She meets other people who have been struck by lightning and discovers an entire community of misfits just like her who have been impacted by something entirely out of their control which has forever changed their lives

I found this a very thought provoking work. It made me reflect on how a sudden never anticipated event can have a powerful influence. I have had a terrible unexpected event in my life remove much of my anticipated hopes for a happy future. I dwell much of the time on this, trying to find a way forward.

There is deep pain at the end but the narrator finds meaning.
There are elements of the occult
and magic in The Ice Queen. 

Alice Hoffman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty works of fiction, including Practical Magic, The Dovekeepers, Magic Lessons, and most recently, The Book of Magic. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages, she has been 

Nominated for multiple awards, and adapted for the screen. She lives in Boston. Visit her website at

My next Alice Hoffman novel will be Property Of.
Mel Ulm

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