“Ice Break” by Astrid Blodgett (2012)
Ice Break is a short story from the anthology “The Journey Prize Stories 24” written by Astrid Blodgett in 2012. We don’t know exactly where the story takes place, but we know it is some place cold, because there is ice on the lake, and snow on the roads. It could very possibly be Canada since Blodgett is Canadian. It takes place in modern times, and we know this because there are modern day things like televisions and cars.
The story is about a family of 5. Mom, dad, and three daughters. They seem to have a good relationship overall, but we get a sense that something is unusual about their relationship. First of all, they have family meetings, where they have discussions about what parent is going to be with what child. Dawn, the narrator, says that these family meetings never really work, because the kids can never decide what, or with whom they want to be around. Another thing that hints to the reader that this family has some issues is what Marla says before they head to the lake. She hints to her sisters that her parents were going to be like their old neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Pichowsky. The Pichowskys divorced a year before, and the mother moved far away from the dad, and took the children with her. Marla is the oldest sister. We know this because she has a job as a babysitter, wears a lot of makeup, and dawn describes that, as they eat Saturday morning brunch, they sit in a row, tallest to shortest. Oldest to youngest, and here Marla is mentioned first. Therefore she must be oldest, since we know for a fact that Janie is the youngest. Janie is nine years old, and she does not want to go on the ice fishing trip at first, but Dawn bribes her with five dollars. Janie is not a smart as her sisters, probably because she is younger. Dawn knows she can convince Janie to go if she just bribes her, since five dollars is a lot if you are nine years old. Janie also doesn’t understand when Marla jokes...
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