Friday, November 05, 2004

I have never blogged a word about Alice Hoffman, and it is not for a lack of admiration. While at the library in Weymouth picking up Geoffrey Stone's new book, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime, From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism, for the article I'm writing on the history of the ACLU, I pounced on Blackbird House, Hoffman's latest.

Blackbird House is a small farmhouse surrounded by meadows and woods on the outer Cape (Cod), and is the cornerstone of a series of stories that extend from colonial times to the present, all of them concerning the house's occupants. Hoffman's hand is sure and steady in this, her sixteenth full-length work of fiction, and the vehicle of the house is perfect fodder for her imagination.

If there is anything that has made me hesitate to read Hoffman in the past (and I have read just a few of her novels), it is the somewhat "New-Agey" mysticism that she sometimes melts over her plots. Now this is a personal thing; I just happen to cringe if I get too close to anything that even reminds me of New Ageism, but interestingly enough, the mystical or spiritual elements in Blackbird House really work. Really. It's a short and fast read, just 225 pages.

The web is full of Alice Hoffman websites and interviews, audio and otherwise. She lives in Boston.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to read like for awhile. I don't regularly read her either, but loved Practical Magic.


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