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An Iceberg’s Gift

  • Title: An Iceberg’s Gift
  • Author: Donald F. Averill
  • Publisher: Toplink Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781947938258
  • Pages: 254
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
  • Reviewed by: Anita Lock

Hollywood Book Reviews

It is spring and brothers Luka and Rolan Ivanov, both in their twenties, are on their fishing boat constantly keeping their eyes open for a way to help Arina, their sister; she dreams of leaving Provideniya in Eastern Siberia and studying astronomy in the United States. It is during this boating trip that they discover a small WWII airplane—complete with a dead pilot and his canine companion—frozen in an iceberg. After the boys share their secret with Arina and eventually their parents, the siblings unthaw the plane, save vital artifacts from the dead pilot before burying him and get to work repairing the old aircraft, which they name Ice Phoenix. The plan is for Rolan and Arina to fly to Alaska. They will meet with the remainder of the family as they travel by iceboat.

Dan Newcomb uses a Cessna-185s to deliver “just about anything to locations within 250 miles of Fairbanks.” He has also been on rescue missions. Even though life is a bit slower in this part of Alaska, there are plenty of relational and familial situations brewing. One thing for certain is that he hopes to one day marry Ann, the love of his life.

While various situations unfold in Fairbanks, the Ivanov boys and their sister continue their work on Ice Phoenix. Just as they near the finishing touches on the aircraft, a husband and wife approach them looking for a way to get to St. Lawrence Island. One thing leads to the next, and the boys divulge their secret to the newcomers; both are interested in being involved in their plan. But on the day of Rolan and Arina’s maiden voyage, things don’t go quite the way they have in mind.

Averill pens a near-realistic immigrant tale in his newest read. Stories have been and continue to be told of those who risk it all for a better life. Much of what is written in the news these days is, first and foremost, courageous; however, there are too few accounts that lead to happy endings. In the case of Luka, Ronan, and Arina, they—like many others trying to make their way to America—have to work against seemingly impossible odds to create the possible by rebuilding a two-seater plane out of random parts. How it all ends, that’s up to the reader to discover.

Key to Averill’s narrative style is not so much the depth of his characters, but their interactions. Averill spends a great deal of his time creating dialogue scenes that reflect everyday occurrences. Ideal examples include the continual playful antics among the Ivanov siblings as well as their parents; tension among the Ivanovs with the impending danger which generally accompanies leaving one’s country and the various relational situations which build up among those living in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Another plot grabber is the inclusion of scenes when Luka, Ronan, and Arina have to come up with ways to camouflage everything that they do in the process of rebuilding the plane and the development of the iceboat. Again, lots of realistic situations adding to the narrative tension.  A nice blend of anticipated moments and unexpected twists, An Iceberg’s Gift is the perfect read for those looking for a story that embodies the power, honesty, and the ingenuity of the human spirit.