The Particular Light In Ice
The Particular Light In Ice is my most recent novel, finished in 2020. It was inspired by a woman who stood behind me in the checkout line at the grocery store on a summer day in 2019. It was midday on a weekday and this woman was wearing silver-threaded jeans and a pair of what looked like diamond studded sneakers. I have a good eye for the cost of things; those sneakers, garish as they were, screamed money. Later that day I did some online research and discovered that Jimmy Choo sold a crystal-studded running shoe, aptly named, The Diamond, for just shy of $5000. The picture on Jimmy Choo’s website matched my memory of the woman’s runners. I wondered, who was that women in the grocery store check-out line going about her normal routine decked out in silver jeans and ‘diamond’ studded sneakers? This novel, The Particular Light In Ice is my answer to that question.
Read An Excerpt:
“Lily wrapped herself in her duvet and began rummaging about in the bathroom for her running shoes. They were brand new, Brian’s Christmas gift to her, a pair of Jimmy Choo sneakers encrusted with crystals (she had given him a first edition copy of “Fountainhead” signed by Ayn Rand). You could tell a pair of shoes were expensive when they had names like yachts. These shoes, which cost $4900, were named ‘Diamond’, and you were supposed to feel as if your tootsies were inserted in a diamond, with multi-faceted rays of light reflecting off your feet as you sneakered about your day. Lily loved them because as sneakers (unlike her bejeweled evening shoes) these were appropriate for everyday wear and coordinated perfectly with her silvery jeans.
In the pitch blackness of the unlighted bathroom, after a moment of finding her way by toeing across cold tiles with bare feet, Lily bumped up against her new Choos standing shoulder to shoulder like miniature besparkled racehorses beneath the now-frigid heated towel rack. She snugged her ice-cold feet into them and patted the crystals with sincere appreciation. Feeling immeasurably soothed, she bumbled her way in the blackness back to a window. Her luck must be turning, because this time she was able to reach high enough to tuck the blackout blind above the roller. Undoubtedly it was the extra lift provided by her Choos that had done the trick.
Lily leaned her perfectly aligned hip bones against the window sill and stared outside. The sun was rising in a clear sky threaded with glimmering tendrils of pink, and tufts of dawdling grey. She squinted, trying to make sense of the unexpected view before her. There was her front acreage, as usual: gazebo, trees, driveway, French fountain from the jarden at Versailles—and yet, nothing was usual. Her new trees were crusted in ice and bent nearly doubled to the ground, as if overnight they had become afflicted with osteoporosis. The fountain, which the gardener had shutdown for the winter, was completely dressed in ice as well, with icicles of varying lengths hanging from the horns, the hands, the hoofs, of the mythological critters that rose up from the center of the fountain. Oh my god, Lily realized, everything outside was coated with ice: her neo-Randian gazebo with its weather vane shaped like a dollar sign, the golf-course lawn, the trees and shrubs, the statement rocks, the Art Noveau lampposts that lined the driveway; even the driveway itself, made of cobblestones imported from an Italian town bankrupted by an earthquake, were all glittering icily in the rising sun that now skimmed hushed and pink across it.
Lily checked the power line that ran to the house. Icicles, like dribbles of too-thin icing, hung along the entire length of it forming a fringe of ice, causing the power line to sag in silver-white waves. At one particular point the line sagged all the way to the ground, pulled down by a heavy limb broken from an overhanging maple tree.
There it is, Lily thought with a satisfied bitterness: the cause of my power outage.”