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Magic is once again knitted into the fabric of a Hoffman novel, this one revolving around a New England family living with the legacy of witchcraft. In colonial Unity, Mass., Rebecca Sparrow was tried as a witch and drowned because of her physical inability to feel pain. Her present-day descendants possess extraordinary gifts. Elinor, the dying matriarch of the Sparrow family, has the ability to discern liars. Her estranged daughter, Jenny Avery, can divine other people's dreams. And Jenny's 13-year-old daughter, Stella, knows how and when people will die. Jenny is recently divorced from Will Avery, a charming but erratic and hard-drinking music teacher; she and Stella live in Boston, where Stella is a charity case at the exclusive Rabbit School for girls. Brainy and unpopular, Stella chafes at her mother's invasive omniscience while trying to make sense of her own powers. When Stella asks her father, Will, to try to prevent a death, he ends up becoming a murder suspect, and her mother sends her to live with Elinor at Cake House, her home in Unity, until the scandal dies down. Jenny and Will soon join her, as does Will's brother, Matt, a reclusive scholar, and Stella's best friend, the audacious, jaded Juliet Aronson. Matt is studying the life of Rebecca Sparrow, and his research reveals strange echoes of Rebecca's story in the lives of her descendants. Subplots are numerous: Brock Stewart, Elinor's doctor, has been secretly in love with Elinor for years; his teenage grandson, Hap, meets the Sparrows and develops a crush on Juliet; and Will becomes close with Liza, an old high school classmate of Jenny's. The plot is crowded, and readers will wish for more time with each of the full-bodied, wholly absorbing characters, but few will complain: Hoffman's storytelling is as spellbinding as ever.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Hoffman has perfected her very own entrancing style of magic realism and mystical romance anchored to the moody, history-laden Massachusetts countryside. In an astonishing run of 16 dazzling novels of family strife, crimes of passion, and the sort of love that induces a person to walk through fire, plunge to the bottom of a cold, dark lake, or promise anything to the gods, Hoffman has gently lifted the veil between the ordinary and the supernatural and made of human desire a force of nature. In this bewitching tale, three living generations of Sparrow women confront their strange and challenging heritage. It all begins in 1697 when a strange girl who can't feel physical pain walks out of the woods surrounding the tiny settlement of Unity, and unnerves the witch-fearing townsfolk. Each of her descendents, all female and all born in the volatile month of March, possesses a similarly troublesome gift. Elinor can recognize a liar at 100 paces, although her husband still betrays her. Jenny, her daughter, dreams other people's dreams. And her daughter, Stella, can see people's deaths, a burden that at first wreaks havoc when her feckless father is accused of a murder she foresees but later becomes a boon. Hoffman's newest cast of characters is unfailingly magnetic, from her eye-rolling teenagers to her wryly in-love seniors to her suddenly aflame fortysomethings, and the story she tells is as lush as it is suspenseful, as rich in earthy and sensuous detail as it is sweet and hopeful. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Although I adore Hoffmann and this is well written, this book could have been half as long. Some of the descriptive passages went on for day. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Christopher Schmidt
I'm not going to write a book report. All I have to say is, if your a fan of Alice Hoffman it's a must read and the book that follows is one I'll read next. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
It starts off fairly good and then just tanks in the middle. The characters are resolved with little to no explanation past one sentence or are done so cheaply that it's totally... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sarah M. Bookshar
I love everything that Alice Hoffman writes. Have read (or re-read) most all of her books by now. Waiting patiently for her next delight to come out in print.Published 3 months ago by Coral Shaull
Alice Hoffman has been my favorite author since I fell under the spell of White Horses, still my favorite. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
This is one of the several books of Hoffman's that I have read.
Seemed very different right from the start. Read more
Let's go for 4.5 stars on this one. I have a new love and it's not that cashmere scarf I got for Christmas or the way my basset looks at me with those soulful brown eyes. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Leslie Lindsay
I used to love Alice Hoffman and have read many of her books (Blackbird House, Red Garden, Here on Earth etc..). Read morePublished 8 months ago by Babs85
So many feels in this story. I love Hoffman's writing and this does not disappoint.Published 8 months ago by Michele Hauf