Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 279
Format : Fantasy Novel
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge, to read more Alice Hoffman

Sisters Gillian and Sally grew up with their Aunts after their parents died in a house fire. There the aunts make a living by doing spells at twilight for the local people (usually woman seeking love). The girls learn about the dangers of love and the mistrust of the townspeople. As they grow older Gillian becomes a beautiful young woman who has many short lived relationships before running away to get married. Sally on the other hand just wants a normal life.

She falls in love, marries and has two children, Antonia and Kylie, but her happiness is short lived when her husband dies. She breaks down before pulling herself together to bring up her daughters alone. She never allows herself to fall in love and doesn't even date. Her normal life is throw out the window when Gillian arrives out of the blue with her current (and abusive) boyfriend Jimmy dead after giving him too much nightshade to make him sleep. They bury him in the back gadren, but he refuses to stay there for long and soon his malicious spirit is causing the family terrible luck. Kylie and Antonia are going through puberty and to make matters worse an investigator comes looking for Jimmy with regard to some of his more recent crimes. The investigator may be just what Sally needs...

I love the film and was really looking forward to reading this despite some mixed reviews online. I really like Alice Hoffman and really loved this novel. It's hard to describe the differences between the book and the film, but the book focuses more on the practical rather than the magic and the movie is the other way around. It's a little like the differences between Chocolat the film and novel. I loved getting to know the Owens family and really related to Kylie the most trying to find her place in the world.

9 comments:

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

I loved the movie, now I think I will have to read the book.

Melody said...

I have not read anything by this author so I'll have to try one of her books soon!

Kailana said...

Not my favourite book by her, but I still enjoyed it! I read it years ago now.

Nymeth said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm with Kelly: It's not my favourite of hers (but then again, I loved the others so much), but still very enjoyable.

Andi said...

I really enjoyed this books (and the movie, though for very different reasons). I think my all-time favorite Hoffman remains, Blackbird House. So good!

Glad you liked this one!

jehara said...

i deeply enjoyed this novel when i read it. and thus began my love affair with alice hoffman.

samantha.1020 said...

This was my 1st experience with Alice Hoffman and I really enjoyed it as well. I've been meaning to check the movie out but I keep forgetting. Great review!

Ladytink_534 said...

I just loved this book! I need to re-read it and Chocolat by Joanne Harris someday soon.

Darla D said...

Oh, a friend of mine has been trying to get me to read this book for years, and I really do mean to, but somehow I never get to it. Thanks for the reminder! I'm glad you enjoyed it.