The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

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One of Hoffman’s shorter novels, this fairytale-like story is of a girl whose impulsive wishes can curse those around her to die, and whose wrteched heart has turned to ice.Her first wish was as an eight year old girl, when she wanted her mother to stay home instead of go out to a birthday dinner, and in anger she wished to never see her mother again. Her wish came true.

Years later, when she hears about a man struck by lightning who cannot die, she thinks she might have found someone who she cannot hurt, but he burns like a flame and threatens to melt the cold heart that keeps her from feeling any pain. Is she willing to risk feeling something? And who exactly is this man whose touch can burn?

Mixing the mundane with the mythical is Hoffmans strong point, as well as family tragedy and greif, as well as the healing power of love. Here, Hoffman infuses her story with fairy tales, and though her heroine wanders through the modern world, everything is infused with otherworldly elements. It’s a very fine book, sweet and tragic, beautiful and desperate, much like it’s main character.

Read It If: you ever loved fairy tales, or knew someone whose heart was frozen.

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