The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
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|Tue, 06-23-2009 - 7:24am|
This is the newest novel by Hoffman and I think it is one of her best novels. I gave it 5 stars which is rare for me as I could not put it down. It brings you into the world of the 3 Story sisters and their world is filled with tragic events and the consequences of those events. You cannot help but be drawn into their world, and they do also have a separate world as they speak their own language and have come up with their own secret world apart form reality. Even though at times you want to dislike one or more of the sisters you cannot help but feel sorry for all of them and want to step in and help them. As their past is revealed you can understand why the secret world was created and why they behave as they do as they grow up.
*Starred Review* A writer as virtuosic as Hoffman doesn’t bestow the name Story on a family lightly. So, yes, this is a many-storied novel about storytellers, brimming with magic and despair, atonement and redemption. The Story sisters, Elv, Meg, and Claire, are dark-haired beauties clustered in the attic of their old Long Island house, while their lonely mother broods below. Their all-female household, a sly variation on Little Women, is under a grim fairy-tale spell, and not even sojourns with their fairy-godmother-like grandmother in Paris can protect them. As always in Hoffman’s glimmering universe, nature is an awesome presence reflected in the mercurial human heart, and consequently, the Story girls are preternaturally sensitive to storms, ghosts, and plant and animal spirits. Meg is practical, while Elv and Claire share a tragic secret, and Elv channels her anguish into elaborate, demon-haunted tales of an imaginary parallel world until she discovers more effective means of self-punishment. The always dazzling Hoffman has outdone herself in this bewitching weave of psychologically astute fantasy and shattering realism, encompassing rape, drug addiction, disease, and fatal accidents. Her alluring characters are soulful, their suffering mythic, and though the sorrows are many and the body count high, this is an entrancing and romantic drama shot through with radiant beauty and belief in human resilience and transformation.