12 Essential Alice Hoffman Books
One of the most prolific novelists in recent memory, Alice Hoffman is known for magical stories about love, marriage, betrayal, history, and friendship. Many of her books have hit the big and small screens with memorable characters and dazzling scenes; whether you’ve been a forever fan or are a newcomer to her work, Hoffman’s writing will have you hooked from the very first page. She’s just published her newest novel FAITHFUL, and to celebrate here’s a list of some of our Alice Hoffman favorites.
1The Marriage of Opposites
If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this one is for you. Growing up on St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel Pizzaro dreams of life in faraway Paris, but life ultimately has other plans. When her much-older husband dies, his handsome nephew arrives and a passionate affair begins. Their relationship results not only in controversy but in the birth of a son, who will someday become one of the greatest artists of his time.
Set on Martha’s Vineyard, ILLUMINATION NIGHT follows the lives of a young blond giant, an old woman at the end of her life, a family torn apart, and a high school girl who brings them all together. An exploration of passion and redemption, this is a classic Hoffman blend of magic and modernity that will leave any reader satisfied.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, 900 Jews held out for months against the Roman army on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to historians, only a small number survived. THE DOVEKEEPERS tells the story of four women from different paths who come together in the midst of the siege. Though they have secrets they must keep, their strength is revealed in unimaginable—and unforgettable—ways.
4The Museum of Extraordinary Things
Coralie Sardie lives on Coney Island in the early 1900s. Her father is the sinister manager of the freak show that thrills the crowds who gather at the amusement park. One night, she stumbles upon a young photographer named Eddie Cohn, who is investigating a disappearance connected to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The attraction is instant, and they embark on a relationship that is equal parts tumultuous and tender.
For more than 200 years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that goes wrong around them. So have their nieces, Gillian and Sally. Determined to escape the whispers of their Massachusetts town, they separate and leave. But before long they are drawn back, perhaps by a force greater than themselves. The adaptation of this classic is available on Netflix and is not to be missed.
6The Story Sisters
THE STORY SISTERS charts the lives of three sisters—Elv, Claire, and Meg—as each grows to meet a fate beyond her control—with changes for the worse and for the better. A coming-of-age tale, a family saga, a and love story, this novel asks all the right questions about sacrifice, affection, commitment, and making choices.
7Here on Earth
After nearly two decades of being away, March Murray returns to her Massachusetts hometown with her daughter to attend the funeral of a family friend. Her stay is meant to be brief, but being back home also brings her back into the orbit of her former lover. Their reunion causes her to reevaluate her past and leads to decisions that may have dramatic consequences for her future.
8The Probable Future
The women of the Sparrow family have lived in New England for generations, each born in March and each in possession of a special gift that emerges when she turns 13. To her horror, Stella’s new power leads to her own father’s imprisonment, and she must seek out her estranged mother and grandmother to make things right.
9The Red Garden
For more than 300 years, the citizens of Blackwell, Massachusetts, have been magically linked. From the town’s founder to a Civil War soldier to a mysterious traveler who arrives without warning, all of their lives center around the small town’s mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found—for those who dare to look.
Each May, sea turtles follow the lights into the coastal town of Verity, Florida, thinking that the artificial glow is actually the moon. Not only do the turtles start to act up at this time of year—the town’s residents also begin acting strangely. But not every year does it lead to murder, missing children, and incredible searches into the depths of the swampy coast.
This fierce and beautiful novel brings together two women—Rae, young, unmarried, pregnant, and far from home; and Lila, a fortune-teller who has lost her own daughter years before. When they meet in Southern California, things begin to happen, and their lives connect in unexpected ways that will change them both.
After a terrible accident leaves her best friend in a coma, Shelby drops out of her life in suburban Long Island and moves to New York City. What follows is a tale, sprinkled with Hoffman’s signature magical realism, of a girl struggling to find her way in the world. With the help of her new chosen family, a series of anonymous postcards, and a mysterious guardian angel, Shelby finds herself moving forward, toward love and joy in her life.