All posts tagged: Alice Hoffman

The Ice Queen – Alice Hoffman

What if one of those ugly wishes, we mutter in anger before thinking it through, came true? That is the defining moment in the childhood of the protagonist in “The Ice Queen”, and it turns her into ice. Feel not and be not tempted to make wishes. As an adult, she is then stroke by lightning – literally. What does not kill you, is supposed to make you stronger; but it does not come automatically. The main character has to struggle through and (re)gain her life and sanity. Moreover, this is the story of “The Ice Queen” written in the magnificent Hoffman style of magical realism that hits home every time. “The Ice Queen” is a fairy tale for adults, which makes you question your own life, wishes, passions, direction, and more than anything, that secret many carry that turns into a shard of glass in our eye. With the title as it is, it is impossible not to compare the novel to H. C. Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name. The parallels are …

Local Girls – Alice Hoffman

By now my readers should not be surprised by a review of yet another Alice Hoffman novel, but “Local Girls” is not the center of Hoffman’s authorship. Here she is more socially conscientious than I prefer for the “everyday’s magic” author. “Local Girls” is a series of titled chapters about Gretel and the people in her immediate circle. I have read other reviews, wherein the book is characterised as a collection of short stories, but I read it as a novel. Writing about reviews, other reviews (I realize that is a very generic term) are less than enthusiastic about “Local Girls”, but one of the features I liked in this book is the way, Hoffman writes around the central character of Gretel and the themes that in different ways influence the different characters. Responsibility is one of the central themes in my opinion. Gretel dreams of leaving the suburbian hell of Franconia but stays to take care of her cancer-sick mother. The mother shirks responsibility for her kids, caving in to cancer, but her cousin …

Skylight Confessions – Alice Hoffman

Family saga in three parts: Ghost wife, A house made of stars, and The red map. After the death of her father, 17-year-old Arlyn vows to love the next man, who comes down the street. This self-afflicted curse results in an unhappy marriage to John Moody, who for all his architectual creativity has lost or never had an open emotional life. Arlyn is trapped in their home called the Glass Slipper with the light of her life – her son Sam and later her daughter Blanca. Meredith, who finds herself in a lull in her life, sees John Moody followed by the ghost of his dead wife and tracks him back to the Glass Slipper, where he lives with the now teenage and troublesome Sam, 10-year-old Blanca, and his new wife. Meredith has a rapport with Sam, who sits on the glass ceiling of the house, high on drugs and low in everything else and she is employed as a live-in nanny. She tries to pull Sam back from the brink. John Moody dies and …

The Third Angel – Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is a magical author, who understands serendipity and the art of magical living and storytelling. I always find myself immersed in her stories and find to extract a little of her fairy dust to my ordinary everyday life. Reading “The Third Angel” is no different. “The Third Angel” consists of three interconnected stories with commonalities in characters, themes, and a run down Knightsbridge hotel called the Lion Park Hotel. I will not spoil the plot for you, but instead only relate that the stories are set in 1999, 1966, and 1952 respectively, and are beautiful, atmospheric time pieces as well. Stories and storytelling is an integral part of “The Third Angel” and Alice Hoffman’s novels in general. In “The Third Angel” there is the story of a heron with a heron wife and a human wife. (And this is just one of the many, many love triangles in the novel.) One character thinks of the story; her daughter publishes the story. There is the story of the third angel, which a village doctor …

The Book of Tomorrow – Cecelia Ahern

Perhaps my expectations were askew. My thoughts were: a novel by the same author as “P.S. I love you”, which I haven’t read, but only seen the film adaptation. I wasn’t expecting a teen novel. I wouldn’t call it young adult, which in my experience has more drama and more supernatural elements. Tamara Goodwin is one of those annoying kids that come from wealth and take it for granted. At 16 her father commits suicide following bankruptcy and Tamara and her emotionally shut down mother are forced to live with relatives in the Irish countryside. Tamara is anything but happy. In a travelling library, she is drawn to a locked journal, which is the book of tomorrow, and she struggles to find her own identity and unearth the family secrets. This is a novel about the journey into adulthood, about the perils of only living in the now, and about the importance of the past in the definition of self, but Tamara, who is the narrator, got on my nerves. She seems like a snotty …