Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors. Her books have a fairy tale quality to them. They are modern fairy tales set in today’s world. In her novels, what would appear to be a common place tale of love turns into something much more. They are beautiful written tales with a mystical quality to them. It is very hard to describe them, I’ve tried to recommend them to my best friend and my sister, but my verbal description always fails!
The Ice Queen is the first audiobook of a Alice Hoffman novel that I have listened to. I enjoyed the experience. Nancy Travis (of Three Men and a Baby fame) read the story and did a fantastic job. Her voice truly was the man character.
The Ice Queen is the story of a nameless librarian. She lives a cold, solitary existence blaming herself for a tragedy that occurred during her childhood. After she is struck by lightening, she feels like she is made of ice. Everything red looks white. She makes a painful recuperation and becomes a part of a lightening strike survivors group. She goes in search of a famed, solitary survivor that was supposedly dead for 40-minutes only to come back to life and walk away. “Lazarus” Jones is the complete opposite of our librarian. His touch is like fire, and his breath can start fires. They begin an all consuming affair. But is Lazarus all that he seems?
The narrator through the novel learns the truth of her past, and how to allow herself to love again. At first I thought she was much too negative, but I then truly enjoyed her growth through the novel. I also loved the talk of fairy tales and loved all of the fairy tale elements of the novel. The librarian and Lazarus seemed liked the tale of Cupid and his true love Psyche, which is one of my favorite myths. The ending of the novel was unexpected and brought a few tears to my eye.
While the book had a fantastic love story at it’s center, it overall ended up being a story about family and the meaning of death. I enjoyed this novel.
Audio Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library