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The Story Sisters: A Novel by Alice Hoffman

The Story Sisters: A Novel (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Alice Hoffman

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7606112,204 (3.81)57
Title:The Story Sisters: A Novel
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Three Rivers Press (2010), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2010, group read

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The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman (2009)


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English (59)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
Have I ever read an Alice Hoffman book that I didn't love? Nope. Hoffman does an excellent job of creating distinct voices for each of the sisters. ( )
  PiperUp | Aug 14, 2015 |
The three Story sisters are almost magically connected at the start of the book, with their own private language that results in their mother feeling excluded from their lives. As time goes on, though, the oldest sister Elv increasingly alienates herself and turns to drugs and acting out which we understand stems from a tragic event in her life that she never shared with an adult. Elv's mother is at a lose about how to handle these problems, and seems likely to suffer from depression herself. It's a sad tale of just how much can go wrong when people attempt to cope alone with emotional traumas. It was an unsettling read and I didn't like any of the characters much, unlike The Dovekeepers which I thought had more depth of the characters. Hoffman writes well, and I did expect something a bit more from this book. ( )
  lynetterl | Feb 27, 2015 |
I really hate to say this, but after awhile all of Alice Hoffman's books feel the same. This is OK because she is a grand-master of a certain ethereal ambiance of daily life and emotions. I'll still read her when I need that. ( )
  MochiMama | Aug 21, 2013 |
hoffman is an unsettling writer and that is not a bad thing. i ended up staying up way too late last night and read the entire book -- i didn't want to go to sleep with dark ideas in my head so plowed through to the end, hoping for a bit of lightness. i guess my two main issues with the book are: a) SO MUCH BAD STUFF. i mean...wow. and b) for all the darkness, twisting and sadness....it became a bit pat around the 2/3 mark. ( )
  Booktrovert | Jun 30, 2013 |
Hoffman is one of my favourite authors, but this novel disappointed me. It felt too much as though she was recycling many of the themes from previous novels without finding anything new to say about them. One of the hallmarks of her writing for me is a depth and an emotional honesty that I felt was missing here. The characters of the sisters felt hollow, and I was more emotionally involved with the secondary characters of Pete, Annie and Natalia. Even Madame Cohen was more compelling for me than Elv or Claire. I wanted to be reading those stories instead.

This isn't a bad book. If it were by another author I might've liked it better. But coming from Hoffman it's just so much less satisfying than much of her other work. ( )
  lumpish | Apr 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
In Alice Hoffman’s new novel, three long-haired sisters are stolen from their “faerie” family by mortals, stripped of their magic and given a false name. I could be wrong about that. That could be just a story the eldest sister tells her siblings...The last act grows a bit histrionic and narrative strands are over-tangled, then too neatly tied up, but Hoffman’s writing is so lovely and her female characters so appealing that it almost doesn’t matter. In the end, “The Story Sisters,” for all its magic realism, is about a family navigating through motherhood, sisterhood, daughterhood. It’s “Little Women” on mushrooms.

added by vancouverdeb | editNew York Times (Feb 6, 2011)
It's a rare year that doesn't bring a novel from Alice Hoffman, and those who follow this maddeningly uneven writer have learned to cast a wary eye on each new offering....The Story Sisters," actually, is In-Between Alice: excessive and over-determined but ultimately so moving that it overwhelms these faults.
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To Elaine Markson
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Once a year there was a knock at the door.
What people called the truth seemed worthless to her; what was it but a furtive, bruised story to convince yourself life was worth living.
In a world of sorrow, love was an act of will.
She wanted to say that she would have done anything to change what had happened, to bring back the people she loved; instead she said that once upon a time, in the heart of New York City, there was a boy who found a secret world, a place where ... loyalty was the most important trait of all.
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Book description
Three sisters deal with tragedy after the oldest, Elv, who was sexually abused by a stranger as a child, succumbs to drug addiction and a mental breakdown, the middle sister, Meg, falls ill, and the youngest, Claire, tries to cope with her feelings of guilt over what happened to Elv.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307393860, Hardcover)

From the New York Times Bestselling
Author of The Third Angel

Alice Hoffman’s previous novel, The Third Angel, was hailed as "an unforgettable portrait of the depth of true love" (USA Today), "stunning" (Jodi Picoult), and "spellbinding" (Miami Herald). Her new novel, The Story Sisters, charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and stays there, a detective who finds his heart’s desire, and a demon who will not let go.

What does a mother do when one of her children goes astray? How does she save one daughter without sacrificing the others? How deep can love go, and how far can it take you? These are the questions this luminous novel asks.

At once a coming-of-age tale, a family saga, and a love story of erotic longing, The Story Sisters sifts through the miraculous and the mundane as the girls become women and their choices haunt them, change them and, finally, redeem them. It confirms Alice Hoffman’s reputation as "a writer whose keen ear for the measure struck by the beat of the human heart is unparalleled" (The Chicago Tribune).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Elv, Claire, and Meg are the Story Sisters, and each has a fate she must meet alone. One on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. At once a coming-of-age tale, a family saga, and a love story of erotic longing.… (more)

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