The Frozen Thames
By Helen Humphreys
(Delacorte Press, Hardcover, 9780385342810, 192pp.)
Publication Date: March 24, 2009
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In its long history, the river Thames has frozen solid forty times. These are the stories of that frozen river.
So begins this breathtaking and original work, which contains forty vignettes based on events that actually took place each time the historic Thames froze solid. Spanning more than seven centuries—from 1142 to 1895—and illustrated with stunning full-color period art, The Frozen Thames is an achingly beautiful feat of the imagination…a work of fiction that transports us back through history to cast us as intimate observers of unforgettable moments in time.
Whether we’re viewing the magnificent spectacle of King Henry VIII riding across the ice highway (while plotting to rid himself of his second wife) or participating in a joyous Frost Fair on the ice, joining lovers meeting on the frozen river during the plague years or coming upon the sight of a massive ship frozen into the Thames…these unforgettable stories are a triumph of the imagination as well as a moving meditation on love, loss, and the transformative powers of nature.
Helen Humphreys is the author of Leaving Earth, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the City of Toronto Book Award; Afterimage, winner of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; The Lost Garden, finalist for the CBC’s 2003 Canada Reads competition; and the forthcoming Coventry. Wild Dogs won the 2005 Lambda Award for fiction, was one of NOW magazine’s Top 10 Books of 2004, and has been optioned for film. Humphreys lives in Kingston, Ontario.
“A splendid book, full of memorable and vivid imagery.” —Toronto Globe and Mail
“Most curiously wonderful and splendidly written.” —Ontario Sun Times
“Spare but satisfying. Each of its episodes has within it the capacity to do what Humphreys did with the entirety of The Lost Garden: to speak of loss lightly but profoundly.” —Quill & Quire
“Forty vibrant protagonists give depth and variety to this magical collection…. A dreamy, poetic evocation of winters past.” —Kirkus Reviews