The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If this book set out to be hauntingly simple, with an evocatively described landscape, dreamlike imagery and a tender but oblique examination of a young person’s psychology, it works perfectly. It is also quietly weird in a most satisfying way.
Hinging on the disappearance of one young girl and the shock of that on another, the ripples of this tragedy are viewed through grief, guilt, torn loyalties, peer pressure and parental worry.
While slight in terms of size and plot, the book uses intensity of emotion magnify its reach. There is a point where one line said in a children’s classroom has the impact of ice on a lake cracking open.
Beautiful and powerful.
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