This book wasn't really my cup of tea. It was too abstract and didn't have enough action for my liking. However, I don't think that's a reflection on the book itself, it's simply not the genre I usually like to read from.
The author writes well; her words flow together nicely, and she's able to easily take something ordinary, such as a lightning storm or an orange orchard, or even a dead mole or a pile of flies, and turn it into something extraordinarily beautiful, or sad and repulsive. It was this vivid use of imagery in her words that kept me reading—that and the fact it's a fairly short book at only 211 pages—when I might otherwise have put it aside and went on to something else.
Why did I decide to read this book in the first place then you might wonder. Well, because I've heard this author's name quite a bit and wanted to try out one of her books for myself. I almost hate to give it a numeric rating here though since my rating will be mostly subjective based on how I personally liked the story in relation to the other books I've read. If I look at it objectively though, I'd have to give it kudos for the quality of writing, the wonderful use of imagery, and the fact that underneath it all, there was a poignant and touching story there.
As with every Alice Hoffman book, I enjoyed this one. I think primarily this intrigued me so much because of the subject matter and the research she put in that she ends up sharing with the readers. I learned so much about lightning strike survivors that I feel as if I'd read a non-fiction book about them.
The main character is maybe a bit difficult to warm up to (pardon the pun), but the elements of this story - and the writing - save the novel, and turn it into something touching and deep.
Alice Hoffman is a great storyteller and I would recommend her books to everyone. This one was a good one. It's not the best book you are ever going to read, not by far, but it is an easy read for a rainy day.
I found this book to be slow and at times hard to continue reading. I think the reason for this was the lack of depth in the characters, the disjointed writing style that didn't seem to have a flow to it and the pace was very sluggish.
Not my normal style of book so that could also add to my review. I understood the reason why she was writing as she was-that is the way the main character thinks and acts but was still very choppy to read. Great research into the subject she was writing about.
A woman who carries her childhood sorrorws as an icy shield against adult emotions -- literally has to have her defenses melted to learn to love again.
If you have read and enjoyed Hoffman in the past -- you will find this one of her special books. If you have not read Hoffman before, but enjoy a reality with a touch of the magical/mystical -- then this will be fun for you.
I was very intrigued while reading this book. It is about a woman who wishes to be struck by lightning and it happens. She is plagued with a heart that skips beats, hair that falls out, and is unable to see the color red. She moves to Florida to be closer to her brother. There are a lot of mysteries twisted throughout this book. I never noticed until I finished the book, but Ms. Hoffman never revealed the main character's name. It is a very good book, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little mystery mixed in with their fiction. You will definitely not be disappointed.
The main character travels very complex emotional journey which begins with the death of her mother at age 8. It all begins to change with a lightening strike.
I found the book interesting, though it was bit slow to read, due to the emotional angst the main character experiences. Its very well-written and I think you will enjoy it. The ending is unusual and the writer uses some mystical elements in the story. Overall, an interesting read.
Once I started reading I couldn't put this book down. It was reality and fairy tale all successfully mixed together. I enjoyed the journey with the main character as she began to understand her perceptions of herself in the world.
A book that flowed like a stream consciousness - which unfortunately I wasn't a fan of. The story overall was intriguing, but because of the writing style, it wasn't my favorite.
The use of strong adverbs made me fall in love with her descriptions of the "effects" of lightning strike survivors. I adored the relationship between the brother and sister and how the early death of their mother affected the both of them in two totally different ways. But through these likes, I still had a hard time reading and enjoying this one.
I would only recommend this book to those who love things that are artsy. Imagery and visualization would be key when reading this book.
Once, in a childish fit of temper, the eight-year-old heroine of Alice Hoffman's The Ice Queen angrily wished to never see her mother again. Suddenly the little girl and her brother Ned were orphaned, and she was convinced that simply by stomping her feet she had shattered her world. While Ned dealt with the grief of his mother's passing by becoming a meteorologist: applying reason and logic to bad weather; as his sister grows into adulthood, she finds herself emotionally frozen.
Now working as a librarian somewhere in a small town, she lives a generally quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and suddenly, while standing in her house, she is struck by lightning. However, instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event provides just the impetus she needs to restart her life. Determined to study the case histories of several survivors of lightning strikes, Ned convinces his sister to join him in learning more about the mysteries of lightning.
For her, being struck by lightning has left her with an inability to recognize the color red; and she soon finds herself fascinated by the awesome power of lightning. Witnessing the withering of trees and landscape near a strike, hearing the various stories of the medical traumas and odd new abilities of victims, all the myths of renewal; she is utterly amazed. Although she is a recluse, she goes in search of one Lazarus Jones - a local farmer rumored to have beaten death after a lightning strike: to have seen the other side and come back.
Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear. When she finds him, he is her polar opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both are forced to hide their most dangerous secrets - secrets that turned one person to ice and the other to fire.
I must say, that while this book was very good, and I enjoyed the story very much; in my opinion it still was slightly strange. I honestly don't know that much about lightning - although I do follow all the warnings about what not to do during thunderstorms - but even if only a fraction of what is described by the characters can happen in reality - I would be curious to find out. It was incredible to me. I give The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman an A! This was actually quite a fascinating book.
The last chapter of this book was nice, even though I didn't much like before it. It was very nice the way everything came together in a fuzzy warm happy ending. But I have to say mid-way through I decided Alice Hoffman writes as though she's not a native English speaker, lots of random phrasing and immediate contradictions, the kind of thing a listener forgives in a toddler or a foreigner. I had no pity or comprehension for the main character who blames herself as a child for causing her mother's death by wishing it in an angry fit, lives a life of self-isolation (as a stereotypical librarian of course), and then brings misery to herself once again when she sarcastically wishes she'd be struck by lightning. There's a scientist brother with a mathematician wife, a support group for fellow lightning struck victims, and an abandoned affair with a police officer who shares her obsession with death. She lets down a bunch of people including her supposed best friend Renny and boss librarian Frances, and some moles in her yard get eaten by her cat; and there's a lot of bust heaving supernaturalesque lightning survivor sex, intrigue involving fairy tales, some suspense, and then there was the very nice ending.
I have read several of Alice Hoffman's books and am hooked. This one was no different. A great story of a woman who was struck by lightning and her connection with other people who encountered the same and how it changed her life in a positive way. I could not put this book down once I started. Would recommend this book to anyone.
I was looking forward to reading this because of other reader's reviews. I so did not like this book. I don't know why I even finished it. I kept expecting something to happen and it never did. Thankfully it was a quick read so I didn't waste too much of my time. This if the first Alice Hoffman I've read and I probably won't pick up another. Bleh!
Although my first book with this author turned me off I almost always try to give an author a second chance and this time I'm glad I did. In this book, a young woman believes that as a child she caused her mother's death because of her last conversation with her mother. Like children sometimes are, she was upset with her mother. So, growing up she had a morbid obsession with death. It took some strange life experiences, the love of two men, and the illness and death of her brother to recognize and accept the person she was and work to become the person she could be. I found this most inspiring.
This book was ok, but not the best Alice Hoffman I've read. A little too much visualization and not enough plot. I found the main character hard to empathize with. Maybe that's the point (it is called "The Ice Queen" after all), but it doesn't make for a very good read. I much preferred "Practical Magic" and "Probable Future" because they have that element of magic, but you end up really caring about the characters.
This book was strange to me. I read maybe 1/4 of it until I had to put it down. It pulled me in at first, but then it got a little weird on me. I had high hopes that it would be good, but the characters just seemed very strange and I realized that I didn't even care what happened to any of them so I quit reading. It was very disappointing.
This was a very fast read. It was certainly entertaining but for the majority of the book, I did not care for the main character. I thought she was rather childish, which was perhaps, the whole point, but it still did not make me like her. Her being a librarian was nice, and I certainly enjoyed this a lot more than _The Dewey Decimal System of Love_ (the last book that I read where the main character was a librarian). The fairy tale aspect was really the strongest part of the whole book... Some of the other themes, plot lines and characters were much weaker.
This was such a great story. Alice Hoffman is one of my all time favorite authors and she did not disappoint with this book!! The way she paints a picture with her stories always amazes me. I think this quote from the book pretty much sums up this particular story: "This is what I know, the one and only thing. The best way to die is while you are living,..."
Alice Hoffman at her very finest! Loved Nancy Travis' voice and the words were magical as was the story....never wanted it to end. Bittersweet love and family issues. Want to keep this and listen to it over and over again!
This was my first Alice Hoffman book and I loved it!
There really is truth "becareful for what you wish for."
This book is about a librarian who keeps to herself. She likes being alone. Her mother died when she was a child and she feels responsible for that death. ("wish")
Then she gets struck by lightning ("wish"). From that point on, she searches out another lightning survivor, Lazarus Jones. (This guy is well known as he appeared to be dead for 40 minutes then simply woke up and rose and walked out of the morgue)
I dont want to give too much away.. This is a must read.
Starred Review. "Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact. Wishes... burn your tongue the moment they're spoken and you can never take them back." Thus begins Hoffman's (Practical Magic; Here on Earth) stellar 18th novel about healing and transformation. As an eight-year-old, the unnamed narrator makes a terrible wish that comes true; remorseful for the next 30 years, she shuts down emotionally to become a self-proclaimed ice queen. Unlike her brother, Ned, who relies on logic, math and science to make sense of the world, the loner librarian fears the chaotic randomness of existence and is obsessed by death. Then lightning strikes, literally. In a flash, she's jolted out of her rut, noticing for the first time all that she's been taking for grantedeven the color red, which after the strike she can no longer see: "How could I have been so stupid to ignore everything I'd had in my life? The color red alone was worth kingdoms." The novel turns sultry when the slowly melting ice queen seeks out reclusive Lazarus Jones, a fellow lightning survivor who came back to life after 40 minutes of death: "I wanted a man like that, one it was impossible to kill, who wouldn't flinch if you wished him dead." 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: "Every fairy tale had a bloody lining. Every one had teeth and claws." Both longtime fans and newcomers will relish it.