As Christine grows older, the friendly feud between the warring grandfathers expands, ultimately coming to a head when Christine prepares for college. After years of exploring the peoples and the vast wilderness with Thor and learning about the wheeling and dealing performed by Czar to make certain that Christine has the best of everything, the ultimate decision about where her future lies comes down to a single incident in Washington, DC, changing the lives and the direction of everyone Christine knows.
To put it simply, Edna Ferber's Ice Palace reads as a love letter to the then Territory of Alaska. Through Thor's excursions with Christine, Ferber paints an idyllic portrait of the land and its people, seen through Christine's untainted eyes. Everything is fresh and new, the air crisp, the rivers and lakes full of wonders. And it's very easy to understand Christine's choices as much of the book follows her travels with Thor. Czar, when he appears, is the kindly curmudgeon but has no qualms about letting his need for power and influence show to the public as well as to those around him. Ferber paints him as a villain, and frankly, I fell in line with that and enjoyed the tale immensely. I don't mind that at times, especially when the story is as interesting as that in Ice Palace.
by Edna Ferber
Doubleday and Company, Inc.
hardcover, 351 pgs