The Ice House by Laura Lee Smith

The Ice House

From a writer who's been praised for her "intelligence, heart, wit" (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls), The Ice House follows the beleaguered MacKinnons as they weather the possible loss of the family business, a serious medical diagnosis, and the slings and arrows of familial discord.Johnny MacKinnon might be on the verge of losing it all. The ice factory he married into, which he's run for decades, is facing devastat...

Details The Ice House

TitleThe Ice House
Release DateDec 5th, 2017
PublisherGrove Press
GenreFiction, Contemporary

Reviews The Ice House

  • Diane S ☔
    Thoughts soon.
  • Bonnye Reed
    GN If you have read other reviews of this special novel, you may think me addlepated when I tell you that this is an excellent feel good tale. After all, 30 year old Corran, though currently in his fifth phase of freedom from heroin addiction and settled in a small drug free town on Loch Linnhe, Scotland, is facing a life of strife with no marketable skills that will allow him to raise his nine month old daughter as a single parent after his wife...
  • Joy D
    Adult contemporary fiction about forgiveness, courage, and redemption disguised as a family drama about a couple who owns an ice factory. Contains one of the most well-drawn set of characters in a book I’ve read this year. One of the secondary characters, Chemal, is among my all-time favorites. Even the dog had a unique personality. The story revolves around the factory owners, who are currently facing impending brain surgery and business-endin...
  • Andrea
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Pretty much a solid three. At times I really liked; other I could have walked away. The story wavered between engaging and not.Set in current day Florida, The Ice House is an ice factory owned [inherited] by Pauline [50], and her Scottish husband, Johnny [53]--who may, or may not, have a brain tumor. Johnny has a son, Corran, by his first wife, Sharon, now remarried to Toole; a...
  • Rachel Watkins
    I love sweeping family dramas and Laura Lee Smith's THE ICE HOUSE shares the story of the MacKinnons which encompasses mid-life health issues, family business troubles, a son with a drug problem and all the interesting nuances that being human and aging brings to the forefront. Smith knows how to weave a compelling tale and I enjoyed this one to the very end.
  • Korynne
    Caution: For erudite audiences only. That was seriously my first reaction to this book once I finished it. There are so many sesquipedalian words in this book that I had to read it with a dictionary on hand to look up new words every few pages. At first, I thought that the author is very intelligent and has a large lexicon, but when the book ended and I counted 91 words that I needed to define, I decided that Smith probably wrote this book with h...
  • kglibrarian
    After reading The Ice House, I'm adding Laura Lee Smith to my list of favorite authors, alongside Ann Patchett, Meg Wolitzer, Emma Straub, Curtis Sittenfeld, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Celeste Ng. Her new novel follows a Florida couple who is struggling to keep their ice factory in business and also dealing with the effects of their son/stepson's heroine addiction, a recently diagnosed brain tumor, and a shady family secret. The prose is elega...
  • Jo
    Adult fiction-not something I normally read, but still enjoyed immensely. Johnny and his wife are in the middle of fighting OSHA for their business (an ice factory his wife inherited) when he’s diagnosed with a medical condition and scheduled for surgery. Instead of resting and taking it easy, he decides to travel to Scotland to reconnect with his son Corran and to met his new granddaughter, a journey he’s avoided even though Corran claims to...
  • Madalina Negrea
    Exciting and thought-provokingI requested and received an advanced reading copy of this book from NetGalley and I am really grateful for that. It's so exciting to read books before they hit the shops and I take writing an honest review very seriously. I could say I am fortunate, I liked the book so I'm happy to share my opinion.First of all, I liked the author's writing technique, the way she diffuses the most dramatic scenes with her sense of hu...
  • Melanie
    It’s been several years since I mourned upon finishing a novel -- but that’s exactly what happened on the last page of The Ice House. I would miss the characters. I would miss that sense of confidence from being guided by a sure-footed author, the feeling that the investment of time, energy and emotion will pay off. Smith conveys rich images economically, without contrivance. One such word-picture comes to mind: a breakfast scene between ice-...
  • Angie
    It's more than the Ice House! Second chances, choices, forgiveness, letting go versuses giving up! This story finds Johnny MacKinnon stuggling with both his future and his past. Johnny and his second wife, Pauline, own an Ice House in Florida. While finding themselves up to their elbows in OSHA trouble, Johnny has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. He feels the need to return to Scotland and make amends with his adult son, Corran, who is now a fa...
  • Mary Robinson
    I enjoy a novel that takes me deep into the characters' lives and leaves me wondering about their futures. The Ice House is just such a book. We follow a few months of the life of Johnny, known as Ice to his employees, and his immediate family and coworkers. He and his wife own an ice factory in Florida. On the day lawyers will begin preparing for an OSHA investigation, the headache he awakes with turns out to be more of a health crisis than a si...
  • Breakaway Reviewers
    A touching novel exploring human issues.Laura Lee Smith's American fiction 'The Ice House' is set in Florida around the MacKinnon family. Pauline and her husband Johnny (who is actually Scottish), inherit The Ice Factory but are possibly having to close down due to foul play and an inspection is imminent! This is a touching novel exploring several human issues, including stress due to the business itself and who can be trusted? Also, other proble...
  • Kathleen Gray
    On the face of it, this could be a very depressing story- it's about a family beset with illness, business problems, addiction, single fatherhood, and economic dislocation. However, the MacKinnons, especially father Johnny and son Corran, deal with all of this with grace. The story moves back and forth between Florida and Scotland, where Corran, an addict who has relapsed multiple times, is trying to cope with his small daughter Lucy on his own. ...
  • Janet
    I have to say this is a difficult book to review. I kinda liked but then again I kinda didn't. The ice house has been in Paulines' family for a long time. But Pauline and her husband Johnnie are on the brink of losing it. The book starts with this as the main theme but as you read more this becomes less in the forefront and there are at least two other sub-plots. I don't look for a lot of hidden meanings or themes- I just try to stay "in the mome...
  • Lindsey Straub
    Johnny MacKinnon has just been told he has a brain tumor. He's also facing an OSHA lawsuit that could very well be the death blow to his struggling ice factory. His wife Pauline is literally running away from a midlife crisis by exercising and flirting with the corporate attorney assigned to represent the factory in the OSHA appeal. With two weeks to go until his brain surgery, Johnny must decide whether to reach out to his estranged son in Scotl...
  • Patricia Romero
    I have to admit there were a few times I put this one down. Although the story was a good one. With themes of family, forgiveness, second chances and more, the characters were real and flawed. To be honest the only one I cared about was Chemal. There was a point in the story where all of the bad blood between father and son could have been mended with apologies, but Pauline never mentions it. No one was really talking to anyone on a deep level. ...
  • Franny Burd
    Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in return for an honest and fair review. Smith's novel centers around a Florida couple, a native Floridian and a transplant from Scotland. Dealing with a number of modern family issues such as drug addiction and the choice of parenthood, this novel is well-written and the characters engaging. I found the middle of the novel to drag a bit, but was very satisfied with the ending. While I don't believe ...
  • Pam
    Thank you Net Galley for an online ARC.I really liked this book and my rating is a 3.5. It would have been a 4 but the book could have used a little more editing. It was a little slow getting into and then just when I did, the chapters would switch to different characters that were not as interesting as the main family. There were parts with too much detail or descriptions that didn't add much to the story and I found myself skimming paragraphs s...
  • Lois Sittu
    The Ice House is the picaresque, heartrending tale of a man on the verge of losing his livelihood and of losing forever his relationship with his only son. (Richard Russo) I couldn't describe the the book any better than this. The Ice House is a wonderful relationship story and the characters are well developed and vividly portrayed. I could relate to the characters and put myself in their place.