The Ice Child
An entertaining, funny yet powerful novel about a dysfunctional New York family forced to grapple with a profound question: do they dare take part in a decision involving the death of a loved one?
Russell, the only son of Jacob and Beryl, becomes painfully aware, as he grows from childhood to adolescence, of his mother’s intellectual failings and his father’s need to control everyone around him. He makes his escape into a relationship with a beautiful young English girl. Their bliss is not to be. Jacob suffers a stroke, is paralysed and confined to a wheelchair. His life is unbearable and he begs Russell to help him end it. His son refuses but there is worse to come. Jacob tries to kill himself by a series of increasingly bizarre and desperate methods and Russell is forced to consider a move that could destroy his own life.
This gripping novel deals with all the ramifications of euthanasia and how it impacts on a family, no matter what choices they make. Its theme is increasingly topical and although the book is suffused with comedy, it is both disturbing and uplifting.
A REVIEW OR TWO
Addressing a consistent set of themes most revolving around characters who are in conflict with one another based on differences in culture, age, or personality The Ice Child offers eleven moving short stories by author Leon Arden. The collection introduces a wide cast of characters and scenarios. A husband and wife, touring Mexico, are confronted while on horseback, by savage bandits; a young man tries to rescue his mother from his father s obsession, which is filling their apartment with more books than it can hold; a comic drama between two lovers is waged solely through messages left on their answering machines; a son wheels his sick father into a hospital and demands, at gun point, that he be given a heart by-pass; a lovely English woman arrives in New York to find she must share an apartment with a man she has never met; and a failed writer, with two friends, programs a computer to create a salable story, but ominously the PC also predicts their immediate future. Bookended by stories about youth and old age, The Ice Child presents a unique but highly entertaining collection of tales. ".".".Arden...manages to bring each story to life with a creative vibrancy and colourful prose...Savory, memorable morsels of brilliance from a clever wordsmith and a considerable talent to watch.