My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Although called a novel and appearing to be 174 pages, the pages are small and the margins large, which makes it more like a long short story. It also reads more like a short story in its compactness.
I am sure there is more to glacier imagery than I have gotten so far, but I have seen history, mystery, and the slow disappearing. The imagery of glaciers calving appeared twice: on the imagined trip from Seattle back to Alaska and later to describe the parents’ relationship: everything important calved away.
To Isabella the glacier represented her life in Alaska when the family was whole.
Isabella dwelt in the past through her shopping in vintage shops for everything and her career in the library repairing old books. She also dwells in an imaginary world. She has friends, gay male friends. She has a secret crush on another library worker. (view spoiler) The imagined life Vs. the actual life is reinforced by a brief comparison of the library staff in the basement to super heroes disguised as geeks.
The narration wove skillfully between past and present, between imagination and experience to draw a photo of Isabella. Poignant was her hope that her life would not end up in a shoe box of photos in an antique store.