Sunday, July 14, 2013

"The Story Sisters," by Alice Hoffman

The Story Sisters, by Alice Hoffman, was interesting enough, and literary, with some very beautiful pieces of writing and many fascinating details.  Often the style, however, struck me as choppy.  Example:  "The heat had settled on Claire's skin and she looked flushed.  She was drinking a glass of vodka and soda.  She was a nervous wreck.  She didn't know if happiness would suit her.  She wasn't prepared for it." (pg 320, hardcover edition).  There are many examples like this.  Lots of sentences of the same length and structure, starting with "she" or "they" or a name, all in a row.   I also hated having to read through the fake language of the sisters.  I knew they were speaking in their own tongue.  I didn't need to see it every page.

The story was dark:  one tragedy or loss after another.  Drugs.  Abuse.  Emptiness. Death.  I really got involved in the characters' lives, though sometimes I wished there was a little less dwelling on past wrongs and past errors.  They dwelled and dwelled and dwelled, and let this dwelling ruin their lives, until at some points I wanted to tell them, "Get over yourselves and try to be happy!"  But this was probably the message of the book, and a something a lot easier to say than do. 

It was a book that held me in its world, even if I didn't completely love it.  From reviews I've read by avid Hoffman fans, this may not be the best example of her work.  Explore Alice Hoffman's website for more information about this and other books.   

My rating:  3

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