BOOK REVIEW

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THE ICE QUEEN - ALICE HOFFMAN

We have all heard the saying "Be careful what you wish for because it just might come true".  This is exactly what happens in this book. 

An eight-year-old child makes a wish - one that she later regrets.  Her house was cold because the oil bill was not paid.  She had no father - just her mother and brother.  The father had run off and the children became very dependent on their mother.  The little girl did not want the mother to have a life of her own.  One night when her mother was going out to celebrate her birthday with some friends, the girl pouted.  The girl said, "I wish you would disappear…" Her mother laughed and kissed her goodbye.  Her mother was killed in an accident that night.  The police blamed the icy roads. 

The girl grew up to be a librarian.  Through her fantasy world she turned herself into ice so that no one could ever touch her.  The grandmother raised the girl and her brother after the mother's death.  Eventually, the grandmother became ill and the girl now had to take care of the grandmother.  Her brother, Ned, was busy working as a meteorologist. 

The young woman made another wish one night.  She wished that her grandmother's pain would be taken away.  Sure enough, that night the grandmother passed away.  After the funeral, Ned talked his sister into coming to Florida so she could be close to he and his wife. 

On the trip to Florida, the young woman made another wish - that she be struck by lightning!  Ned couldn't understand why she would make this wish.  Getting struck by lightning was painful.  Sure enough, one day she was holding a fly swatter and was struck by lightning.  She did survive but not without paying the consequences.

What happens to this young woman now?  Who does she meet that changes her life?

The author has written a magical book that reads like a fairytale.  An interesting point is that the narrator throughout the book remained nameless.  This plays a perfect part by fitting in with her mysterious character.  This is a beautifully written story.  The author writes of passion, loss, renewal and emotions.  The author does a wonderful job of blending the story together to the point where it is difficult to distinguish between fantasy and reality.   This is a great book if you are looking for something different to read.  It is highly recommended.

REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, NANCY EATON

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