Wednesday 5 March 2014


Finished March 3
Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith

This novel captured me right away. Did it help that the main character is a librarian? Maybe.
Isabel was born in Seattle, but her parents moved back to Alaska shortly after she was born to live in the homestead of her father's grandmother, in the country near Soldotna. This is where she spent her early years and learned about being alone, about making do with what you have, and about the meaning of treasure.
Following her parents divorce, her father moved to Portland with her and her older sister, where she soon realized she was several years behind when it came to fashion. This, perhaps, led to her love of vintage clothes.
All of Isabel's background sets the scene for this novel, a single day in her life. Planning for a party she is going to in the evening. Working as a preservation and conservation librarian, in the lower level of the library, with other subspecialists. The reader gets brought into her life, her friendships, her coworker relationships, as she moves through her day. In many ways, this is an ordinary day, but it is also an extraordinary day, for many reasons.
I loved Isabel, her thoughtfulness, her depth of feeling, her appreciation for small things, her imagining of others' lives. And I loved the cover of the book, how it just feels right for it. I love her love of postcards, one I share. With an earlier Indiespensable selection, I was made aware of this book through a reference in the accompanying package of goodies, which included postcards inspired by this book:

As I said, I prefer the cover version of the copy I had to the blue one in the package above, but the package is what got me looking for a copy. And I am so glad I found one.


  1. It's interesting to read your thoughts! I thought "Glaciers" was a very elegant little book (I reviewed on my blog on Nov. 19, 2013). I actually loved the design by Diane Chonette of the dress with the blue background because it reflects the themes of accumulation and disintegration that run throughout the novel.

  2. Thanks for your comment Diane. Do you know that until I read it, I actually hadn't twigged to the cover showing representing a dress. I was thinking of it as a glacier breaking up. So that cover is growing on me now. :-)