The Country of Ice Cream Star
From Guardian First Book Award finalist Sandra Newman comes an ambitious and extraordinary novel of a future in which bands of children and teens survive on the detritus--physical and cultural--of a collapsed America. When her brother is struck down by Posies--a contagion that has killed everyone by their late teens for generations--fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star pursues the rumour of a cure and sets out on a quest to save him, her tribe and what's left of their future. Along the way she faces broken hearts and family tragedy, mortal danger and all-out war--and much growing up for the girl who may have led herself and everyone she loves to their doom.
LONGLISTED 2015 – Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
“Exhilarating, harrowing…. The language leaps off the page…. It is breathless, emotionally relentless, racked by violence but buoyed by Ice Cream’s spirited defiance…. After the dust settles and the final page is savoured…we are left with a sigh, and a thrill. We are left bidding goodbye to a spirited heroine we’ve come to know and love so well, and the possibilities for her future play out long in the mind.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“A resonant epic.... What sets The Country of Ice Cream Star apart...is the extraordinary, blistering insistence of its language.... Potent, stimulating and cathartic.... By the last page I was emotionally battered but euphoric: the book had held me so effectively hostage that I felt I had Stockholm syndrome.”
—Liz Jensen, The Guardian
“Sandra Newman has created a language for Ice Cream Star that is unique, both broken down and rapturous, full of powerful feeling as well as laconic toughness, and flashing with gorgeous detail. This is a brilliantly plausible dystopia, a thrilling adventure and altogether an amazing book.”
—Adam Foulds, Man Booker Prize–nominated author of The Quickening Maze
“Ice Cream Star is the novel I’ve been waiting for: the brains and probing intelligence of the best speculative fiction, boosted by the passion, heart and energy that only a brilliant heroine can provide. In a bland world, flattened out by dystopian misery and needling pessimism, Ice Cream Star illuminates the reading experience with linguistic brilliance, stylistic flair and pulsing rhythm, creating a fictional world just as diverse, varied and exciting as our own. The imagination and artistry are immense.”
“What an astonishing achievement...I can’t remember when I last read something so original or sophisticated or emotionally engaging or so breathtakingly ambitious.”
—Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life
“Wonderfully inventive, The Country of Ice Cream Star pulls you into a world of betrayal, loyalty, desire and war. Ice Cream Star is a glorious, flawed heroine, and Newman’s writing about sexuality—its threat, and its power—is astonishing.”
“It’s not very often someone comes along and really does something new and original with the English language, but Sandra Newman has done just that. My garden is overgrown, my bills have not been paid, and I’ve missed three deadlines, all because of this book. The Country of Ice Cream Star is a beautifully crafted masterpiece. There is not a word out of place; there is not a detail that is unnecessary. It is truly amazing.”
From the Hardcover edition.