Cover image for The ice child
The ice child
McGregor, Elizabeth.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Rockland, MA : Wheeler Pub., [2001]

Physical Description:
540 pages ; 24 cm.
Geographic Term:
Format :


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FICTION Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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When Jo Harper falls in love with archaeologist Doug Marshall, she also falls into Doug's obsession with one of history's greatest mysteries: 150 years ago, Sir John Franklin and his crew sailed two ships to the Arctic on a surveying trip and were never seen again. Doug has spent his life in search of an answer to what happened to them, sacrificing his first marriage and his relationship with his son, John, along the way. But as he and Jo plan their future together, an accident forever changes their lives.Devastated, John goes into self-imposed hiding. Desperate to find John, Jo soon learns that his fate is tied to the Franklin Expedition. Haunted by Franklin and his own past, John has ventured into the Arctic in search of answers to what happened to Franklin's crew and to his own life. Unbeknownst to him, a frantic search is on, not only to save his life, but the life of a brother he doesn't know is in jeopardy.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The resonance of history is hardly an unusual theme, but in McGregor's adept hands it becomes the stuff of a riveting narrative certain to hold the attention of fiction readers across genres. English writer McGregor makes her American debut in this multileveled novel that rests in both the present day and the historical past. Contemporary British archaeologist Doug Marshall is obsessed with learning all he can about the John Franklin expedition. In 1847, Franklin, heading a group of men in two sailing ships, went to the Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage. The expedition disappeared. Marshall dreams of finding any remains of the expedition that might still exist, and his obsession comes to dominate his personal life, straining even his relationship with his son. When Marshall is killed in a freak accident, his son assumes the mantle of his late father's obsession and takes off to the north. Meanwhile, the baby Marshall left behind needs a medical contribution only his elder brother can provide. As McGregor shifts back and forth in time between this present-day situation and the nineteenth-century expedition itself, she tugs at the reader's heartstrings with a relevant story about a female polar bear's preoccupation with the health of her offspring. We can never escape the past, and readers will have no desire to escape this all-consuming novel until the last page is turned. Readers who respond to the high adventure of exploring the remote regions of the continent will want to connect McGregor's novel to the exciting nonfiction and fiction listed in the Read-alikes column, on the opposite page. --Brad Hooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Making her U.S. debut with this dramatic, fast-paced tale of adventure, survival, romance and enduring parental love (human and ursine), British writer McGregor should reach a broad audience here. Acerbic young London journalist Jo Harper has an assignment to interview the wife of Doug Marshall, a British archeologist gone missing in the Arctic while pursuing the mystery of the Franklin Expedition, which vanished in 1845. While Jo has no interest in the story at first, it isn't long before she is fascinated by man and quest alike. When Marshall is rescued, she begins an affair with him and has a child, though her happiness is not fated to last. Three other narratives revolve around Jo's story: Doug's 19-year-old son John's painful attempts to capture "his father's true attention"; the deadly, icebound struggle of the Franklin Expedition, told from the point of view of a 12-year-old ship hand; and a polar bear's dedication to her cub. The protagonist of each segment fears being frozen out, both literally and emotionally, and struggles to survive very private trials. The book shifts its focus without losing steam when a tragic death and another disappearance occur, and a terrible discovery shifts the balance between the searchers and the sought-after. McGregor introduces perhaps one dramatic twist too many, but her novel otherwise artfully mixes historical background, up-to-date medical information about a rare disease, a bit of pop psychologizing and some upbeat lessons about the survival of the human spirit. Major ad/promo; rights sold in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the U.K. . (May 7) Forecast: Bearing the hallmarks of a great summer read, this novel hits all the bases. If McGregor comes here to do talk shows, she could attract Oprah's audience with her tale of selling the book just after her 20-year marriage ended. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved