I was notified by Goodreads that D.R. MacDonald has a new book coming out this month called The Ice Bridge. I really enjoyed his last novel, Anna From Away (see a brief review here,) so I clicked over and started reading the synopsis. Soon I realized that The Ice Bridge is Anna From Away under a different title. And different cover image. And a just slightly different description.
A little digging revealed that Anna From Away was published in Canada by Harper Collins Canada on September 11, 2012, and The Ice Bridge was published in the USA by Counterpoint on May 14, 2013.
Let’s compare and contrast:
Compare this line from the synopsis of Anna From Away:
Part erotic love story, part quest for home and heart, Anna From Away is a superbly crafted tale of love after love, a novel rich in atmosphere and infused with lyrical descriptions of land and sea.
To the synopsis of The Ice Bridge:
Part love story, part moral fable, and part quest for home and heart, The Ice Bridge is a superbly crafted tale of love after love, a novel rich in atmosphere and infused with lyrical descriptions of land and sea.
Why was this book positioned as an erotic love story in Canada, and as a love story/moral fable in the States? In my opinion, “erotic love story” is pushing it a bit, but, sexual attraction and betrayal do play a big role in the story, and there is one sex scene in particular that is pretty darn steamy. In this post-Fifty Shades world, what is the American publisher afraid of but putting that out there?
Sexiness aside, the American title and cover are so BORING. I was really drawn to the cover of Anna From Away, but there’s nothing about The Ice Bridge that makes me want to read it.
I’m going to see if I can find anyone at Harper or Counterpoint who can tell me more. What do you think? The States just can’t handle all that maritime sexiness?
Two times this year, a book has let me down by not being dark enough. I felt like the authors held back to make things a little more palatable – The main characters got off too lightly. There wasn’t enough at stake. Things resolved themselves a little too neatly.
I don’t like it when a story feels reigned in. I want the characters to hit bottom and keep falling.
I do feel a little guilty about this. Why do I want bad things to happen to good characters, and why do I roll my eyes at a happy ending? Schadenfreude? Shock value? Or, am I not quite over my goth phase of 1996-1997? I think it’s a bit of all of those things. I need an emotional connection to really enjoy a story, and the dark and depressing route is the easiest way to my heart.
Here are the two examples that came up this year, the darker alternatives I found, and even more dark recommendations for the long winter nights ahead. BONUS: All four books featured below are by Canadian authors!