Thursday, July 14, 2011Posted by Melissa (Avid Reader)
by Alice Hoffman
This book gets a big fat MEH, from me. It’s not horrible, it’s just boring. I’ve read and enjoyed some of Hoffman’s other books, like Practical Magic and Blue Diary, so I thought I’d try this one. The novel, set on Martha’s Vineyard, introduces us to a variety of characters, but never really settles into a groove.
One of the major problems is that Hoffman is trying to tell too many stories at once. First there’s Vonny, who has issues with her rich father and is suffering from agoraphobia. Then we have her son Simon, who is far too small for his age, and her husband Andre, who is tempted to have an affair. Add to the mix, Elizabeth, an elderly neighbor with failing health, and her granddaughter Jody, a rebellious teen who moves in with her for the summer. But that’s not all folks! There’s also a giant, perhaps the most interesting character of the book, but we barely scratch the surface of his story.
Throw that all together and try to connect the dots and you end up with a bit of a mess. In the end we aren’t induced to care about any of the characters. Though some of the plot lines are interesting, we never get a chance to become invested in any of them. Skip this one and try another of her books if you’re curious about her work.