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Local Girls Paperback – May 1, 2000
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In fact, Gretel and her family and friends are so compelling, so endearing, that the reader wishes Hoffman had chosen to give the Samuelsons a novel instead of this series of stories. In reading about Jason's descent from A student with an acceptance letter from Harvard to working in the produce section at the local supermarket and shooting heroin, for example, one can't help but feel that a lot of his motivations happen between stories; and Gretel's difficult relationship (or lack thereof) with her father and new stepmother functions mainly as a plot device, leaving the reader wanting so much more. And yet, if one is to judge the success of a book by the reader's reluctance to be done with it, then Local Girls is successful, for Hoffman has created a world so enticing that one is willing to overlook the minor flaws. At the end of the title story, as the now-grown Gretel and Jill discuss two teenage girls in the neighborhood who recently committed suicide, Jill remarks: "They should have just waited. That's all they had to do. They would have grown up and everything would have been all right." The same might be said of reading Local Girls. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Hoffman's first novel, Property Of, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux. She credits her mentor, professor and writer Albert J. Guerard, and his wife, the writer Maclin Bocock Guerard, for helping her to publish her first short story in the magazine Fiction. Editor Ted Solotaroff then contacted her to ask if she had a novel, at which point she quickly began to write what was to become Property Of, a section of which was published in Mr. Solotaroff's magazine, American Review.
Since that remarkable beginning, Alice Hoffman has become one of our most distinguished novelists. She has published a total of eighteen novels, two books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel, Here on Earth, an Oprah Book Club choice, was a modern reworking of some of the themes of Emily Bronte's masterpiece Wuthering Heights. Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her novel, At Risk, which concerns a family dealing with AIDS, can be found on the reading lists of many universities, colleges and secondary schools. Her advance from Local Girls, a collection of inter-related fictions about love and loss on Long Island, was donated to help create the Hoffman (Women's Cancer) Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Blackbird House is a book of stories centering around an old farm on Cape Cod. Hoffman's recent books include Aquamarine and Indigo, novels for pre-teens, and The New York Times bestsellers The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, and The Ice Queen. Green Angel, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale about loss and love, was published by Scholastic and The Foretelling, a book about an Amazon girl in the Bronze Age, was published by Little Brown. In 2007 Little Brown published the teen novel Incantation, a story about hidden Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, which Publishers Weekly has chosen as one of the best books of the year. In January 2007, Skylight Confessions, a novel about one family's secret history, was released on the 30th anniversary of the publication of Her first novel. Her most recent novel is The Story Sisters (2009), published by Shaye Areheart Books.
Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay "Independence Day" a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel Aquamarine was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't think this book was intended to read as a novel, so I am mystified at comments of supposed missing depth. Hoffman's book is a connected series of stories in which the reader is free to fill in the gaps. I give her credit for experimenting with this form.
With each book Alice Hoffman shows her talent for any subject matter. I find her very talented and very entertaining. I love her stuff.
This collection of related stories with alternating narrators was wonderful and forced me to use my imagination to figure out what went on between the stories and think about the details that Hoffman had left out. I would have loved to have read more about this family, but perhaps the author intended to leave us wondering.
The strong women in this book overshadow the weak men in every way. Gretel's father, her brother, and Sonny offer no support to the women in the book. Gretel endures and triumphs, mostly on her own....a perfect example of that saying "what does not kill you will make you strong"..
Like all of Hoffman's books, this was an emotionally moving story but with a few touches (fewer than usual) of her magical realism. And, as usual, the language is PURE magic!
This is a story of real life. There's the brother who has everything going for him, including a chance to go to Harvard. Gretel watches the strength that her mother shows in the open but hears her mother's emotional pain at night. Gretel is brought up around strong women and knows how to survive and be a strong woman herself.
I enjoyed this book tremendously and will recommend it to anyone looking for a very good book to read.
Gretel and the people in her life are very relateable. She endures loosing family members, money struggles, resentful teen years.
Upon finishing this book there is a moral to the story. Money and social position don't always equal happiness and love.
Do pick this book up and read it. It's a very quickstory with a lot to say.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gretel's life and relationships make engaging reading. Alice Hoffman writes stories that seem real and that speak to my teenager students.Published 5 months ago by Donna Faircloth
Beautifully narrated, but with a thin story, unusual for Alice Hoffman, whom I read for her astounding originality and whimsy...but still a good readPublished 5 months ago by anna mancini
After reading and loving "The Museum of Extraordinary Things," I decided to read all of Alice Hoffman's books, starting at the beginning. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Shafer
I enjoyed Alice Hoffman's writing and exploration of the relationships between a young girl and her mother, aunt, best friend, and brother. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Rebecca Mugridge
Gretel and Jill are best friends, growing up in Rhode Island. This novel explores the affect that love has on us all. Read morePublished on July 14, 2012 by Kathryn C. Hogan
"Local Girls" was assigned as our last required reading assignment in my tenth grade English class just before summer vacation. Read morePublished on July 1, 2012 by Mia
Local Girls is not a perfect book, by any means. There are gaps in characterization and frustrating absences of information. Read morePublished on March 17, 2012 by Jennifer Leigh