The Ice Widow

A Story of Love and Redemption

Romance - Contemporary
234 Pages
Reviewed on 05/12/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite

Anna Caine is a retired teacher living in a small house in Nova Scotia with her two dogs. She deserves a calm, cozy place to spend her senior years. Anna has endured many trials and tribulations, losing loved ones and healing her broken heart. Also, there is a deadly virus, and Anna doubts whether it is a new pandemic or a new, more dangerous strain. Thus, she is not very happy to receive a text from her old friend and the father of her son, Joshua Kalluk. He asks Anna to escort him during his chemo treatment; Joshua has terminal cancer. Soon Anna sees an opportunity to re-bond with the love of her life, Joshua, a strong Inuk man, and maybe even accompany him on his final journey to the North. Years ago, when Anna was a teacher in Endor, they shared moments of passion, despite Joshua's engagement to Leah, and Anna's fiancé, Terrence, who was waiting for her return from Labrador. But Joshua preferred the humble and loving Leah over Anna, whose restless spirit and wounded pride led her to unwise decisions. The Ice Widow by Anne M. Smith-Nochasak is a captivating read for fans of romance, drama, and character-driven novels.

In The Ice Widow, Anne M. Smith-Nochasak takes us on a breathtaking journey to Endor, the home of indigenous people encircled by magnificent mountains. It's the setting for Anna's fateful encounter with Joshua and their brief love affair. Smith-Nochasak makes this magical place a participant in the story, for Anna always sees these mountains on the horizon with her inner eye. The Ice Widow includes many unique characters. We follow the narrative through different perspectives, led by Anna's point of view. Anna is stubborn and mistakes selfishness for strength. The author compares her insecurity and lack of compassion with the wisdom and acceptance of people from Joshua's community. But Anna learns how to love selflessly and make sacrifices for her loved ones, seeing examples in Terrence, and even her old rival, Leah. Smith-Nochasak speaks about the importance of elders, especially grandmothers, in the lives of children, which indigenous people understand well. I appreciated the flawless editorial work and Smith-Nochasak's beautiful writing style that adds psychological depth.