“A MAJESTIC RECONCILIATION STORY.”
— Publishers Weekly
From a writer who’s been praised for her “intelligence, heart, wit” (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls), 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.
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 devastating OSHA fines following a mysterious accident and may have to close. The only hope for Johnny’s livelihood is that someone in the community saw something, but no one seems to be coming forward. He hasn’t spoken to his son Corran back in Scotland since Corran’s heroin addiction finally drove Johnny to the breaking point. And now, after a collapse on the factory floor, it appears Johnny may have a brain tumor. Johnny’s been ordered to take it easy, but in some ways, he thinks, what’s left to lose? This may be his last chance to bridge the gap with Corran—and to have any sort of relationship with the baby granddaughter he’s never met. Witty and heartbreaking by turns, The Ice House is a vibrant portrait of multifaceted, exquisitely human characters that readers will not soon forget. It firmly establishes Laura Lee Smith as a gifted voice in American fiction.
THE ICE HOUSE is a Fall 2017 Okra Pick!
Praise for THE ICE HOUSE…
“Smith weaves (the characters’) stories expertly, moving from Jacksonville to Scotland and back, from another disaster to a laugh-out-loud moment. Her tenderness toward her characters and subtle understanding of class differences in American society are reminiscent of such novelists as Richard Russo and Jennifer Egan, but this heartbreaking, heartwarming novel is an original.” — Tampa Bay Times.
“A spirited cast makes up the foundation of Smith’s delicately spun story of family, loyalty, and the difficult choices people must make when forgiving someone…Peppering the story with affecting interludes that trace the evolution of Johnny and Corran’s relationship, Smith (Heart of Palm) majestically captures the urgency of reconnecting with a loved one when time seems to be quickly slipping away. ” — Publishers Weekly.
“The Ice House is a tour de force that sweeps readers into a symphony of powerfully drawn characters, all of whom have been wounded in ways that both cripple and embolden them. This novel is an intercontinental family saga and an exploration of blue-collar life, but at its core it’s a very a good novel that asks us to consider the lengths we’ll go to in order to save the things that matter most: a company, a loved one, ourselves.” —Wiley Cash, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Last Ballad, A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy.
“The Ice House offers all the pleasures of the novel—robust characters we worry about and root for, a story that deepens and intrigues, language that charms and surprises, and even some rare and welcome humor. It does all this in a setting unusual to a novel—the world of work, in this case, a family ice making business in Florida. How does Laura Lee Smith keep that small, cold world so large and ardent hearted? The Ice House is a marvel of a novel.” —Beth Ann Fennelly, Novelist, Essayist, and Poet Laureate of Mississippi