The narrator of this story is impervious to feelings, like trapped in ice, since the day she made a wish that came true, and which she deeply regrets. She grew up with “a splinter of ice in her heart” and though she is perfectly agreeable to people, she is also unable to commit. One day, after moving to Florida, she is struck by lightning and, amongst other bad effects to her heart and mobility, she is unable to see the color red. She then becomes part of a study about lightning survivors and hears about Lazarus Jones, a man who was struck dead and came back to life. Now, she wants to meet Lazarus, who becomes an obsession, and they start a passionate, but also potentially destructive (in the physical sense, since Lazarus’s skin and breath are burning hot), love affair…

The Ice Queen is a journey through self-discovery, full of symbolism and magic realism, and inspired by the Grimm’s fairy tales. I don’t know why, but every time I read an Alice Hoffman’s novel, I feel that something is lacking. Her ideas are original, her writing is pretty good, but I am left with a sense of having read an insubstantial book: good fluff, but fluff nonetheless… I reasonably enjoy reading her novels, but I feel I am left with nothing in the end. Her books are not places I will come back to in imagination, her characters won’t stay with me…  I love symbolism in novels, but I prefer to read authors such as Margaret Atwood or Carole Goodman, whose works are more fulfilling…

My best experience so far with an Alice Hoffman novel is Here on Earth, a modern version of Wuthering Heights

Rating: 3,5/5