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5 stars for Like Water and Ice by Tamar Anolic #figureskating #fiction #litfic #bookreview

Title: Like Water and Ice

Author: Tamar Anolic

Genre: Figure Skating, Fiction


Book Blurb:


Like Water and Ice received a "Recommended" badge from the US Review of Books! This is a "well-written drama" with a "superb storyline. The plot never loses its luster as Thad’s swan song as a competitive figure skater reaches its crescendo at the 1998 Winter Olympics." -US Review of Books.

Like Water and Ice received a 5-star review from Reader Views! This book is a "captivating story that beautifully weaves together elements of romance, drama, and pursuing the dreams of winning National and Olympic competitions... Anolic does a beautiful job of vividly portraying the beauty and grace of ice skating.. The characters are well developed. I found insight into their motivations, insecurities, and struggles to be fascinating. I loved the protagonist because his determination, despite numerous setbacks, continues to drive him forward. He also has integrity and stands by his beliefs. The chemistry between him and his love interest is palpable, and I found myself rooting for their relationship to continue to evolve. The interaction between the other characters was complex and well described. I had to check to make sure this wasn’t a biography because it seems so real." -Reader Views Review

Figure skater Thad Moulton has his eyes on Olympic gold- but at what price?

Thad is one of the most talented skaters of his generation- and one of its most inconsistent. He has won a gold medal at National Championships every other year throughout the 1990s, and his bad performances haunt him. When he skates perfectly at the 1997 World Championships and still places second behind his mistake-ridden Russian rival, Thad decides it is time to retire.

Then that rival, Grigoriy Arsenyev, flaunts his World Champion status and excludes Thad from an invitational meet of the best skaters. His behavior makes Thad realize that a competitive fire still burns within him. He sets aside his retirement and starts training for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. At the same time, his romance with fellow skater Emily Burrows grows- just as their coaches embark on an extra-marital affair that brings the watchful eye of the press down on them. Thad battles his anger at both coaches as he struggles to put together flawless programs for Nagano. Can Thad overcome his inner demons and outside distractions to skate flawlessly on Olympic ice?


My Review:


Meet Thad Moulton, figure skater extraordinaire. Well, sometimes.  


And that sometimes is exactly what adds conflict and suspense to this story. We meet him in 1997, right after he places fourth in the Figure Skating National Championship, facing an uncertain future. The Olympics are a year off, but with his on-again-off-again skating performances, he’s unsure he can qualify. And the press is certain he’s a loser.


Egged on by a rivalry of a Russian skater, he decides to aim for the Olympics. Along the way, we discover the loneliness that shrouds a skater, whose only friend seems to be the ice rink.


Tamar Anolic has not only penned a story about Thad’s career and the challenges he faces, but an insider’s peek on the lives of figure skaters. Like Water and Ice vividly describes the dedication and determination these athletes have, as well as the obstacles they face.


The author does a fantastic job of showing the pressure skaters are under the year before an Olympics. We meet his team members and see how they struggle with finding a balance between practice and their personal lives.


It’s the worldbuilding in this book that makes it so gripping. She takes us on a deep dive into the lives of skaters, and on the way makes you care deeply about them as people. I became instant friends with Thad. I figurately bit my nails with every one of his performances. And I crossed my (nail-bitten) fingers that his budding romance with Emily would blossom into more.


This is more than a story about figure skating. Tamar Anolic has written a tale of love, friendship and most of all, the human spirit to overcome challenges and obstacles.


My Rating: 5 stars


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Author Biography:


Tamar is a writer who specializes in historical fiction and military fiction. Her short stories have been published in The Copperfield Review, The Sandy River Review, The Helix, Foliate Oak, Frontier Tales, Pen In Hand, Evening Street Review, Every Day Fiction and The Magazine of History and Fiction.


Tamar's historical books focus on the Old West and the Romanovs. Her short story collection The Lonely Spirit follows half-Comanche Marshal L.S. Quinn across the Old West. This book has won an Indie Brag Medallion, was a winner for Historical Fiction in the Firebird Book Awards, has been long listed for the Historical Fiction Company's Book of the Year Awards, and received the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from the Historical Fiction Company.


Tamar's most recent book on the Romanovs is Tales of the Romanov Empire, which has been long listed for the Goethe Awards for Late Historical Fiction, and been long listed for the Historical Fiction Company's Book of the Year Awards. Her other books about the Romanovs are The Russian Riddle, a nonfiction biography, and the novels Triumph of a Tsar, Through the Fire, and The Imperial Spy.


Tamar's military fiction includes the novel The Last Battle, about a female veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and The Fledgling’s Inferno, science fiction about a gene that runs in military families and causes superpowers.


Tamar's other contemporary novels her most recent novel, Two Sisters of Fayetteville, as well as The Fourth Branch.


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Reviewed by: Terry


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