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Follow the Author
Blackbird House: A Novel Kindle Edition
—Booklist (American Library Association)
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Back Cover
In a rare and gorgeous departure, beloved novelist Alice Hoffman weaves a web of tales, all set in Blackbird House. This small farm on the outer reaches of Cape Cod is a place that is as bewitching and alive as the characters we meet: Violet, a brilliant girl who is in love with books and with a man destined to betray her; Lysander Wynn, attacked by a halibut as big as a horse, certain that his life is ruined until a boarder wearing red boots
arrives to change everything; Maya Cooper, who does not understand the true meaning of the love between her mother and father until it is nearly too late. From the time of the British occupation of Massachusetts to our own modern world, family after family's lives are inexorably changed, not only by the people they love but by the lives they lead inside Blackbird House.
These interconnected narratives are as intelligent as they are haunting, as luminous as they are unusual. Inside Blackbird House more than a dozen men and women learn how love transforms us and how it is the one lasting element in our lives. The past both dissipates and remains contained inside the rooms of Blackbird House, where there are terrible secrets, inspired beauty, and, above all else, a spirit of coming home.
From the writer "Time has said tells "truths powerful enough to break a reader's heart" comes a glorious travelogue through time and fate, through loss and loveand survival. Welcome to Blackbird House. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B000FC1S7M
- Publisher : Ballantine Books (July 20, 2004)
- Publication date : July 20, 2004
- Language : English
- File size : 591 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 256 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0099453878
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #140,573 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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I've admired Hoffman's work in the NYer magazine and elsewhere but Blackbird House is among the sloppiest writing I've experienced in a very long time. I'm not sure what Hoffman sought to do in gathering these stories - I like the convention of using a house and its occupants over generations as an organizing theme. Beyond that, there's very little here to like. Hoffman needed a really careful editor and fact-checker. This is not 'magical realism' it's just plain sloppy.
I read about 85% of the book, hoping the writing would improve, but got so frustrated in its weaknesses that I set it aside and took it with me to leave on the takeaway pile at my local grocery store.
However, I sometimes think her writing is over my head. Possibly I read her too fast, and miss out on grasping the deeper meanings. Possibly I just get lost in the story and the pleasure.
This story was hard for me to follow. There were so many characters, and the story thread moved through time in a way that was hard to track.
And still I loved it. I ended the book knowing that I had missed a lot, and not really caring. The beauty and the magic was more than enough.
Maybe I'll reread it. Maybe I'll devote more time to analysis. Maybe I'll discuss it with a book club. Maybe I'll research what others have to say.
Maybe I'll just continue being grateful for the magic. Always.
I could have done without the first narrator. Oh, goodness what a bombastic voice! The rest of the narrators were great. In fact, it was fun that each chapter, which was each new inhabitant of the property got a new voice many of them were fantastic!
When I finally got my Kindle to download, I did much better as I could read along with the Audible. In fact, it Whispersynched perfectly.
Alice Hoffman has become one of my favorite authors. Remember she is the one who wrote Practical Magic. So I had to grab this when it was on special. This one read similarly to the Red Garden. She refers to witches and red shoes and other symbolism that would be fun to discuss in a book group.
I may have to read this again someday as I know there was a lot more there than I absorbed. One of my issues with the book was I wanted more of each resident. I always felt each story too short. Maybe I wanted a series?
Hoffman is at her best when describing the natural beauty of the New England coast and the way the land and its rich history have shaped the people there into quirky, scrappy personalities. If you liked Illumination Night or The Probable Future, you will no doubt enjoy this book too. I grew up in Massachusetts, and it made me homesick for the cranberry bogs, the Cape mudflats, and the wild flowers still found in abundance there, as well as for a life that still revolves a little more around nature than most of the civilized world.
And of course Hoffman's story-telling craft is superb. Like box of gourmet chocolates, this book was polished off in a few days, even though I wanted to savor it longer. Alice Hoffman is always on my shortlist when I need to find a book I *know* I will like.