“Alice Hoffman takes seemingly ordinary lives and lets us see and feel extraordinary things.”
Don’t you just love it when you find an author new to you, whose writing you love, and you have all his/her books ahead of you to read? That is the happy place I find myself in with Alice Hoffman.
I just finished listening to the audiobook version of her book, The Ice Queen, and I immediately headed out to the library to find more of her books. Ms. Hoffman is an author that speaks truth — emotional truth — and I particularly love authors that do that well. The Ice Queen is an emotional journey through a young woman’s life and psyche. This young woman was very damaged by life. In a moment of anger at age eight, she tells her mother who was leaving for an evening out with friends, that she wished she wouldn’t come back. Her mother was killed that evening in a car accident on the ice. The emotional devastation of that loss left the girl’s heart frozen.
She grew up, became a librarian, lived a quiet life withdrawn from other people. Then, in a moment of quiet desperation, she made another wish, and she was struck by lightening … but it didn’t kill her, instead it began to change everything…
This story is described as “magical,” and it is fantastical is certain ways. The author weaves in elements of fairy tales, (it is considered a modern interpretation of The Snow Queen), but the reality of the main character’s emotional changes and growth keep it a very grounded and human story. I found it very moving and thought-provoking, and highly recommend it.
Click on the links below to read some excellent blog posts about this book:
Nymeth (things mean a lot)
Rhinoa (Rhinoa’s Ramblings)
Mindy (Farmer Family Scoop)
This is another book I enjoyed as part of Carl V’s Once Upon a Time 3 challenge, and also for J.Kaye’s Audiobook Challenge.
That sounds like a gorgeous book. I love me some fairytale retellings (however loose). (I won’t get to it for ages and ages most likely, but it’s definitely placed on my wishlist!)
Thank you for including my link, Robin! I’m so glad you loved it too. Another one I think you’d really enjoy is Green Angel. Such a beautiful book.
Anyway, I need to read more Hoffman myself! She’s currently in that just-a-few-more-books-and-she’ll-become-a-favourite limbo for me.
I’ve been eyeing Alice Hoffman’s books for a long time, and your review convinces me that I must read her! She moves to the head of the list–thank you!
I read Hoffman’s Blue Diary years ago, and found it quietly devastating. I must try this.
This is a great book, huh? I loved it. I really need to read more from Alice Hoffman! I have read a lot of her books, but there are still many more for me to discover.
Shanra, I think you’ll enjoy it when you get to it.
Nymeth, I found Practical Magic at the library, so that’s probably the next one I’ll read by her, but I’ve put Green Angel on my TBR list. Thanks!
Gentle Reader, me too! I’ve had her on my TBR list for a long time, but I’m so glad I finally got to her!
Sarah, I don’t know anything about Blue Diary, but she can certainly write powerfully about the emotions.
Kailana, I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.
I keep seeing her books around and wondering if they are any good. I’ll have to give her a try now. Thanks for the review.
Um, that posted under the wrong blog name. Blue Pandemonium is my other blog about depression. Sorry about that.
Hi Petunia, I was impressed with this one. I’d been looking at her books and wondering about them, too, so I’m glad I finally read one and found that I like her writing very much.
I’ve looked at The Ice Queen several times at the bookstore but never bought it. But after reading this, I’m going to finally read it! Thanks!
I loved this book and reviewed it back in 2007:
I hope to read lots more by her in the future and have Practical Magic on my list for this month hopefully.
Shelley, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. She did a really nice job with it.
Rhinoa, thanks for the link to your review. I’ve added it to my post. I picked up Practical Magic at the library and am hoping to read it this month, too! We can compare notes!