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Submitted Literature

The Ice Is Singing

By Jane Rogers


The novel relates the flight of Marion, a single mother of twins, recently abandoned by her husband. As she is aimlessly driving around the country, she reflects on her past relationship, how it started to disintegrate, and on how she slowly fell into a deep depression following the birth of her daughters. Drawing hope from the change of seasons (the singing sound made by the melting ice), Marion nevertheless is fully aware of the cyclical structure of the seasons and of depression. Marion also writes short stories about women in similar situations to hers and thus uses narrative as a means to work through her own mental problems. As she works on those stories, Marion is keenly aware of their artificiality and the fact that unlike her own life, they follow logical patterns of literary emplotment.

Key Themes:

  • Post-natal Depression

Significant Quotes / Pages

152 - "I shall go home. That is, back to the twins. For the following reasons (and let me be clear about this, clear-eyed and certain that there is no self-deception involved):

Because there is no alternative.

Because I am tired of driving about, and staying in other people's rooms, and having my meals cooked for me."

Reference: Jane, Rogers. 1987. The Ice Is Singing. Faber & Faber, 1988


Dr Gerd Bayer
Date Review Submitted: Thursday 9th April 2009