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Showing 1-10 of 128 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 182 reviews
on January 11, 2017
Read this once before. Liked it then forgot I read it. Liked it again. Some books are like that. Good thing I liked it again
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on December 3, 2015
I didn't care for it
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on October 21, 2010
There are few poets out there who really go the distance it takes to write something edgy, something rock n' roll. Patti Smith achieves this with every phrase she utters. Seventh Heaven was such a great foreshadow at the future she had ahead of her long before she ever became a rock star. The most interesting aspect of this collection of poems could be her use of gender. In some poems like "Girl Trouble," she basically writes as a male. In others, she describes all the pains involved with being female.
Patti Smith is so in touch with icons that she creates perfect pictures of Marianne Faithfull, Edie Sedgwick and others through her poetry. This is a poetry book you can pick up and read over and over again. It haunts you and it stays with you. Patti Smith has been instrumental in creating a new type of poetry that is rock n' roll. Seventh Heaven is the perfect introduction to her writings and music.
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on March 14, 2012
Alice Hoffman knows how to string together a beautiful sentence, let me tell you! Seventh Heaven is an interesting exploration of the 1950s from a feminist perspective, and I almost wish I were back in school because writing an essay on all these women would be pretty stimulating. I'm also partial to all things magical and fantastical, so those touches in this book delighted me.

My criticism of the book is that it lacked an emotional impact, and I was always aware that I was reading about these characters instead of being fully absorbed in their lives. I think this is due to the fact that there are many characters and we never stay with any of their stories long enough or go deeply enough into their inner worlds to experience any lasting emotional connection with them.

The surface exploration of each character, coupled with the large number of characters, gives the book a slightly disjointed feeling, which works on an intellectual level for the main themes, but doesn't hit home on an emotional level which is what I enjoy most.
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on January 20, 2017
I struggled to get through the middle of this book and thought maybe I missed the author's point. I looked up "seventh heaven" but since that means a state of euphoria, I was even more perplexed. These people were decidedly not living in that state.

I was intrigued by her choice of a Levittown-type of community where all houses are uniformly the same, yet the living was decidedly anything but. Couldn't anyone please love, listen to and appreciate someone else? Instead this group of neighbors were anything but neighborly, just going through the motions. As for the children, I thought it was Lord of the Flies meets Long Island.

The writing was so compelling that I kept reading in spite of liking just about no one. The community was manufactured out of a potato field and the people who moved into it tried to create community out of whole cloth. They were going through the motions of living that life they thought they were supposed to live and then when they gave up, it appears the solution was to leave. Nora was a breath of fresh air as she fought not to drown in the community's rejection and to give her sons more than she had grown up with.
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on February 28, 2017
Hoffman does it again, taking the trivial, mundane and daily trials and joys of women's lives lived with and without the help of men and making epic stories of love, loss and triumph. Set in the space in time of the 1950's and the 1960's, the story chronicles the end of an era of the old mores and the beginning of societal upheavals in the 60's. A trenchant and emotional evocation of the changing roles of women, as well as their effect on the boys and men in their lives. Be sure to have your hankies handy.
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on September 2, 2016
After going through half the book where only bad things were happening, I was going to drop it. First I went back to reviews to see why I chose it in the first place. The reviews led me to finish it. Meh! I felt no joy.
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on February 18, 2017
This story takes place in what is probably Levittown, Long Island, NY shortly after it was first built. I lived in a similar type of neighborhood when my kids were young and could relate to the stories, the close relationships with neighbors as well as the downfalls - the lack of privacy and everyone knowing what was happening in your life. It was a good read.
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on February 5, 2016
I like the fact that the unexpected plays such a strong part in Hoffman's books. While this one does not disappoint, there are times when you no longer care what happens, when a character loses intent and strays from the story.
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on August 26, 2016
This book was just odd from the first page, but the story immediately grabbed me and I couldn't stop reading. Sad but hopeful; desperate and full of joy; it echoes reality. Each of the characters slowly transform from antagonistic sketches into protagonist dynamic characters as the story progresses. The hints and wisps of magic, while slightly discordant, enhance the flavor of the story giving it depth and mystery. Alice Hoffman certainly isn't everyone's taste, but I personally have never been disappointed in one of her novels.
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