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The Red Garden Hardcover – January 25, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,128 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hoffman brings us 200 years in the history of Blackwell, a small town in rural Massachusetts, in her insightful latest. The story opens with the arrival of the first settlers, among them a pragmatic English woman, Hallie, and her profligate, braggart husband, William. Hallie makes an immediate and intense connection to the wilderness, and the tragic severing of that connection results in the creation of the red garden, a small, sorrowful plot of land that takes on an air of the sacred. The novel moves forward in linked stories, each building on (but not following from) the previous and focusing on a wide range of characters, including placid bears, a band of nomadic horse traders, a woman who finds a new beginning in Blackwell, and the ghost of a young girl drowned in the river who stays in the town's consciousness long after her name has been forgotten. The result is a certain ethereal detachment as Hoffman's deft magical realism ties one woman's story to the next even when they themselves are not aware of the connection. The prose is beautiful, the characters drawn sparsely but with great compassion. (Jan.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

According to the critics, The Red Garden is among Alice Hoffman’s recent best. She can occasionally be melodramatic, her stories overrun by fairy tale syntax. Although the magical abounds here—women become eels—there is little, if anything, that is overdone. Not every story is wholly believable, but “Hoffman’s consciously simple style transforms people’s pain into mythic parable” (Washington Post), so that the mythic then becomes lore. Only the Boston Globe cited the collection as somewhat uneven, with the best stories (including “The Red Garden”) absolutely bewitching and the lesser ones simplistic and implausible. But that is to be expected from an author with her own peculiar, enchanting brand of magical realism.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Crown Publishers; 1st edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 270 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0307393879
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0307393876
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.68 x 1.09 x 9.33 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 1,128 ratings

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About the author

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Alice Hoffman is the author of thirty works of fiction, including Practical Magic, The Red Garden, The Dovekeepers and, most recently,The Museum of Extraordinary Things. She lives in Boston. Visit her website: www.alicehoffman.com

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
1,128 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Coz
3.0 out of 5 stars Sometime magical but ultimately unfulfilling
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2018
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Kimberley
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 10, 2012
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Gillian E Mulheron
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong and Emotional....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 3, 2014
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janette hall
5.0 out of 5 stars just love Alice Hoffman
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 15, 2013
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mrs christine carpenter
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 12, 2014
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