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The Ice Queen

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  18,032 ratings  ·  1,827 reviews
From the bestselling author of Practical Magic, a miraculous, enthralling tale of a woman who is struck by lightning, and finds her frozen heart is suddenly burning.

Be careful what you wish for. A small town librarian lives a quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending
Paperback, 211 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Back Bay Books (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,032 ratings  ·  1,827 reviews

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Will Byrnes
Nov 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The logic of fairy tales was that there was no logic: bad things happened to the innocent, children were set out in the woods by their parents, fear walked hand in hand with experience, a wish spoke aloud could make it so.
I wept while reading the final chapter.

Our first-person protagonist, in a spat with Mom on Mom’s 30th birthday, wishes her dead. Mom’s demise that night defines the eight-year-old girl. She will express no love, no affection. She will listen only, go along. She embraces d
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-loved
I think sometimes we stumble across a book that was the perfect book to read at that specific time. For whatever reason you connect to it a particularly strong way. The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman is the first book of that kind that I have read in 2019. I've finished, but I don't want to put it away yet. I found it to be very beautiful, but have to admit that I'm not sure how to convey why that was. Probably other reviews will be more helpful than this one if you are trying to decide whether or n ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Wow! This is quite the book to make one feel. No, FEEL! So much raw emotion and passion!

Like I'd need telling about obsessive love affairs... And not so obsessive ones.
And the everafters. And the blame game. And everything else.
Magical thinking at its best.

Wishes are brutal, unforgiving things. They burn your tongue the moment they’re spoken and you can never take them back. They bruise and bake and come back to haunt you. (c)
I’ve made far too many wishes in my lifetime, the first when I w
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books which creep up on you unawares. I had finished it months ago but it was only as I finally rejoined the GR reviewers and sat down to write this that I realized it was still reverberating gently in my mind.

It is a love story but not a straightforward one. There is an underlying theme of the need to come to terms with bitterness and self hatred. There is the recognition that gradually dawns for characters and readers alike as to how misunderstanding, misrepresentation and
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
"Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact. Wishes are brutal, unforgiving things. They
burn your tongue the moment they're spoken and you can never take them back. They bruise
and bake and come back to haunt you……."

I read The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman years ago but recently I stumbled across the audio version and decided to listen. I really liked reading the book but listening to this audiobook narrated by Nancy Travis was a whole different experience… different in a good way, that
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I think we've all been asked a thousand times about our favorite books. I've always found it hard to answer and so I would mention my favorite authors instead. But then I found this book. I don't really know what happened... I think it was love at first sight. This is one of those books in which every single word matters. I know that's supposed to happen in every single novel but this book is different... each word is a precious piece in the brilliantly built puzzle that is this story. The emoti ...more
Faseeh Ilahi
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
This is an adult magical realism standalone fantasy novel.

So the story follows a nameless character who is a woman obsessed with death. .
As a young girl, she was really self centered. One day, she gets mad at her mom as she is driving away. In a moment of fury, she wishes her mom dead. The next day, the young girl wakes up to find that her mom was killed in a car accident. Her wish had come true.

Later in the story, the girl moves to Florida with her brother. The woman was fascinated by lightning
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you too are slogging through this and think the author may be just a wee bit too enamored with her love for metaphor and symbols, and you think the main character is not sympathetic, but kind of a pitiable loser, then you're thinking as I did through almost the first 3/4 of this wonderful and touching novel. I write the above because if you're tempted to abandon the book before you get to the end (as I did), you'll be cheating yourself out of an amazing, meaningful, and completely touching pe ...more
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.4 stars
This book ripped my heart out then threw it against the wall only to pick it up, stomp and kick at it with steel toed boots.

In the misery, the bleakness and the dark hole that became my chest there was a light weak but bright. The author was able to keep me focused on that little light, it wasn't hope of a HEA it was much deeper it was the spark of life to breath to continue. Her words are beautifully sewn together, visual and emotionally charged.
Depressing stories are my kryptonite nor
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up.
It took me a while to get into this book. It is ostensibly about characters who have survived lightning strikes and how they cope with life afterwards, but it is more about how people deal with their emotional scars and facing their mortality. The book is populated with some very damaged characters, each in interesting ways. When two of the more damaged characters enter into a relationship, there are unintended consequences for more than just the two of them.
The book has s
Nov 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Exquisite, I really love Alice Hoffman's writing, all that magic, beauty and love she puts into it makes it something to savor. We have to deal with a significant amount of pain in this one as well, as a little girl who is burdened with the guilt of believing that she has caused her mother's death begins the process of learning to feel again through the cataclysmic event of getting hit by lightening when she is an adult. Weather often plays a large part of Alice Hoffman's stories, it really is a ...more
This book made me realise that I do believe in magic as a real thing. The "magical realism" part of it didn't seem fictional to me.

Hoffman intersperses a lot of philosophical musings about self-identity and value throughout this story. It's a reflection of the fairy tales she references in the book, full of a melancholy darkness that ends well despite the cost. It's the journey of someone who thinks she did something unforgivable to her self-acceptance upon realising that she can't control ever
May 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
If I could, I'd give this a firm 3 & 1/2 stars because I'm not sure I loved it but I more than liked it. I like/love most of her books. I like fairy tales and this book was full of fairy tale references - the story itself is really a fairy tale. It is short and it is a quick read. I had great trouble warming to most of the main characters but this was meant to be. The last pages made me cry because, in the end, I really felt for those same characters. Any book that elicits tears deserves, I've d ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
How does one go from giving three stars to a Booker prize winner to giving this inconsequential book a four star rating?

First, tell a story well. Second, describe everything vividly and throw in a little wisdom. Third, be the kind of book one is looking for. I was looking for a page-turning escape and I got it.

Being the bearer of two “I wish you’d die” wishes coming true, the nameless narrator grows up fearful of and fascinated by death, obtaining knowledge that is tapped into by a local polic
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it

I just read this really great book by Alice Hoffman. It's titled The Ice Queen.

From the get-go I was hooked. Hoffman has the knack for creating a narrative that is compelling. The main character, who remains nameless through the whole book, is a woman obsessed with death. As a young girl, she gets mad at her mom as she is driving away. In a moment of fury, she wishes her mom dead. It is the dead of winter and the next day, the young girl wakes up to find that her mom was killed in a car accident
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Well, I'll be damned.

For years, I've been avoiding Alice Hoffman, because, you know...Sandra Bullock.

As it turns out, I love her! (Alice Hoffman, that is.)

(And I now officially have 50 favorite books.) *confetti*
Nov 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Tilbatilba by: A friend
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading this book. I loved her writing, it's beautiful. I love that the supernatural was introduced discretely.
I loved that the main character was a librarian and that her favorite Grimm tale was Goose girl, just like me.
I didn't felt depressed like so many other readers felt. I fell in love with her storytelling.
I am looking forward to exploring her other works, I only fear to read some of them because I have as a translation in Portuguese. But I could
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5... I read some of the reviews and I agree with the likes and dislikes. Overall it was interesting and good. Was a bit repetitive and I skimmed a few pages but I like the authors way of seeing things. It was an unexpected love story.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: once-owned, fiction
Wow! My favorite Alice Hoffman story yet!
Carolyn F.

Oh my gosh! First of all I've liked the narrator/actress Nancy Travis on TV and in the few movies I've seen her in but I have never realized what a great actress she is. The bitterness, hurt, love, yearning, etc all come across so wonderfully. I am for sure going to listen to more of her audiobooks and definitely watch more of her movies. I'll have to do a search for her works and I'm probably going to be pleasantly surprised by all of the movies she's done.

Now for the book. Great! A l
Literary Han
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

I thought this book would be my first five ⭐️ novel of the year but unfortunately it lost half a star 😭

I cannot get over how stunningly written this book was. It read like poetry and felt like warm honey in my mouth.

I must warn y'all that whilst this book is brilliant it is very depressing! But I kinda think that is what makes it so magnificent and truly unlike anything I have ever read before.

So why lose the half star? I think the ending felt kinda rushed to me and I
Well it had to happen I did not like The Ice Queen I am sorry to say it was a dark magical tale of a woman's hardships growing up with a horrible mother who abused her, unfortunately this sent triggers as I have depression & Anxiety, the woman was constantly talking about death I just had to stop I DNF due to these triggers, although miss Hoffman writes another outstanding book, it just wasn't one of my favourites of hers. ...more
Erica Clou
If you have experienced the kind of loss that I have experienced- and I know a lot of people have- it can nonetheless feel like no one really gets it. Well here is proof of the transformative power of death, life, and love packaged in a fairy tale. I'm wrecked like someone tore my chest cavity apart. Thank you, Alice Hoffman. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mod-lit, fantasy
The Ice Queen opens on a common domestic scenario, in which an eight year old, furious because her mother is going out for the evening, petulantly wishes she'd never see her again. Of course, wishing can't make it so, but this little girl, an avid reader of fairy tales, believes it can. Her mother's car skidded on ice, and heavily burdened with guilt, the child freezes herself emotionally, growing up a social isolate obsessed with reading and death. Years later, when she idly wishes she'd be str ...more
Jul 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Frozen in misery since age eight, when the mother she wished would disappear promptly obliged by dying in a car wreck, the thirtysomething unnamed narrator of Hoffman's hypnotic new novel has spent her life avoiding meaningful human contact. As a New Jersey reference librarian, she relentlessly pursues the details of death in all its countless causes while engaging in after-hours backseat trysting with a local cop. After settling near her brother in Florida, the narrator is struck by lightning. ...more
Robert Blumenthal
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that the author wrote about 7 years ago, given to me by a friend. I have become enamored with Alice Hoffman after neglecting her books for years (I think her last two books were both exceptional). This one is essentially a modern day fairy tale, and it teeters on the fantastical throughout though deals with the very heart of human emotions. At times I had decided I would give this book only 4 stars, but Ms. Hoffman wraps it up so superbly that I decided on adding that ultimate sta ...more
Read this last night. Loved it! This was rather depressing and I loved it even more for that.

It's beautifully written, full of a melancholic darkness that ends well despite the cost.

"“I heard a sigh, as though the books were breathing. I felt that this was where I belonged. This was where I lived.”

""I've got to get to the bottom of this one," she'd say, as if a book were no different from a pond or a lake. I thought she'd go on reading forever but it didn't work out that way.”

“At night I tol
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Adult Fiction - Lightning Victim. [s] 4 20 Sep 22, 2018 10:51PM  
CMLE Librarians E...: * January Book Selection: The Ice Queen 2 11 Jan 24, 2017 09:42AM  
Alicia's Badges 4 6 Apr 19, 2016 05:35PM  
A Million More Pages: The Ice Queen: May 21 60 31 May 24, 2015 09:30PM  

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Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We Knew, The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. Her most recent novel is Magic Lessons. She lives near Boston.

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