Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

Summary: 
Alice Hoffman's latest novel is a prequel to her bestseller "Practical Magic". It tells the story of three siblings with magical powers growing up in New York City at the cusp of the 1960's. They are members of the Owens family whose history dates back to the 1600's. There is Franny, the eldest, with blood-red hair; shy and beautiful Jet, who can read people's thoughts; and the youngest, Vincent, a handsome and charismatic musical wizard. During one summer the three siblings journey to a small town in Massachusetts to visit their aunt Isabelle. There they learn more about their secret family history from this wise older woman. This book is a story about the power of love, and a reminder of the importance of being true to yourself.

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Nightbird

Summary: 
Being a big fan of Alice Hoffman's novels, I recently enjoyed reading a book she wrote for a much younger audience. "Nightbird" is a winner of the Great Stone Face Award and a thoroughly enjoyable story. In her usual manner, Hoffman blends together ordinary down-to-earth living with a sense of the magical. This story takes place in the little town of Sidwell, situated in the Berkshires. The characters include a young girl and her older brother with wings, due to an age-old curse placed by a woman who was a witch. A very easy read, (it was written for youngsters) this tale nevertheless keeps the reader riveted, eagerly going from chapter to chapter, unable to put it down because one wants to find out what will happen next. And of course it has a very happy ending!

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Faithful

Summary: 
New York Times' best-selling author Alice Hoffman's latest novel is a touchingly heartbreaking tale. It tells the story of Shelby Richmond, a young woman who has been in a car accident which leaves her feeling isolated and self-destructive. She then moves from her hometown on Long Island to New York City, where she begins to meet the people who will help her to regain her self-esteem and confidence, and heal her wounded spirit. Shelby gets a job in a pet store and winds up adopting three dogs, as well as having an affair with a man who is a veterinarian. In addition to the friends she meets at work, there is an angel watching over her who leaves her postcards with illustrations and encouraging words. At once down-to-earth but also magical, this novel tells a beautiful story about a young woman's journey as she regains her ability to feel hope and love.

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The Marriage of Opposites

Summary: 
This historical novel by the acclaimed author Alice Hoffman is set on the island of St. Thomas in what was then the Danish West Indies. The tale begins with a young Jewish girl named Rachel who grows into a strong, unconventional woman who marries a much younger Jewish man from France. They go on to have numerous children, the youngest of whom becomes the prolific French Impressionist artist Camille Pissarro. A beautifully written story with vivid descriptions of the island, complex characters, and intricate relationships: this book is an enjoyable read for those interested in history, religious controversies, and art.

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