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A compelling novel about three generations of a family haunted by an obsessive love, from the author of Practical Magic and Here on Earth.
Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of eighteen acclaimed novels, including The Ice Queen, Practical Magic, Here on Earth, The River King, Blue Diary, Illumination Night, Turtle Moon, Seventh Heaven, and At Risk. She lives in Massachusetts.
Winningham's narration is just right. Her pronunciation is clear but not exaggerated, and nicely combined with the rhythmic, conversational speed of a good storyteller. She has a rich voice with a good vocal range. This book is another of the wildly popular ghost romances that come under the rubric woman's fiction, and another of Hoffman's dark fairy tales. Orphaned at 17, Arlie determines to love and marry the first man who comes down the street. This is John Moody, a distant, quiet man who ignores her and her children throughout their marriage, but is plagued by her ghost after her early death. Arlie's ghost is visible only to Moody and to the narrator, Meredith, who follows the ghost home to the glass house where Arlie lived out her miserable marriage and died. The book is loaded with telltale names and laborious symbols-ashes, dishes, stones, bones, birds, glass and all things red or white-but the characters are as human as fairy tale permits, and Hoffman's prose is lively and absorbing. This book will be a favorite of women's fiction and Hoffman fans. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 6). (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
A Connecticut ferryboat captain dies, leaving his motherless 17-year-old daughter, Arlyn, an orphan. On the day of his funeral, red-haired Arlie invites fate into her home and her bed in the form of John Moody, a lost Yale student of architecture, thus cementing a multigenerational dance of misery. Moody spent three days loving Arlie and a lifetime resenting their marriage. And he has little interest in their son, Sam, a fragile little boy devoted to his mother. It is Sam's train wreck of an adolescence that is at the heart of Hoffman's 19th novel. Arlie's early death strands Sam; baby Blanca; Arlie's lover, George Snow; and even Moody in separate emotional hells. They are only partially saved by the appearance of Meredith, a college student who follows Arlie's ghost to the Moody home and signs on as the nanny. Hoffman's gift for framing otherworldly elements in down-to-earth language intensifies the flawed resolve of the tragic Moodys as they desperately pummel their way through loss and grief and, maybe, redemption. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/06.] Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Visually stunning, frequently heart-wrenching" * Daily Telegraph * "Alice Hoffman's novels are a beguiling mix of the ordinary and the extraordinary. Bitter everyday occurrences - broken marriages, disappointed lives - are transformed under her tender gaze into magical, heart-breaking fables... Hoffman acknowledges the weight of this pain in mesmerisingly graceful prose, while the spareness of her style allows for hope's infinite possibilities in even the most daunting of circumstances" -- Eithne Farry * Daily Mail * "A novel that plays with the subconcsious, weaving together magic and myth and a kind of realism. Hoffman is an excellent storyteller with a beguilingly mystical bent" * Time Out * "A magical, haunting read, full of hidden passions, heartbreak and ghosts" * Glamour * "The dream-like nature of the narrative is well constructed and oddly plausible" -- Ludovic Hunter-Tilney * Financial Times *