Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and stays there, a detective who finds his heart's desire, and a demon who will not let go.
What does a mother do when one of her children goes astray? How does she save one daughter without sacrificing the others? How deep can love go, and how far can it take you? These are the questions this luminous novel asks.
At once a coming-of-age tale, a family saga, and a love story of erotic longing, The Story Sisters sifts through the miraculous and the mundane as the girls become women and their choices haunt them, change them, and finally, redeem them. It confirms Alice Hoffman's reputation as "a writer whose keen ear for the measure struck by the beat of the human heart is unparalleled". (The Chicago Tribune).
©2009 Alice Hoffman; (P)2009 Random House Audio
"The always dazzling Hoffman has outdone herself....Her alluring characters are soulful, their suffering mythic, and though the sorrows are many and the body count high, this is an entrancing and romantic drama shot through with radiant beauty and belief in human resilience and transformation." (Booklist)
Alice Hoffman again throws you into an eerie mood of demons and evil and passionate love that sweeps you away, but also love that is calm, and trustworthy. Another listen I stayed out in the garden weeding because I couldn't stop. BUT, the narrator's accent was way too strong. New York or New Jersey, which ever it did not match the characters well. The young girls sounded like middle age women talking fake high voices. She also kept laughing as the narrator, which made the narrator parts (which are large portions of Alice Hoffman's books, distracting and not just build the background mood and ambiance. I would highly recommend reading this book, which I did as well, as the audible version takes away from the depth of the story.
I loved Hoffman's first books but her tone has turned darker and depressing as the years go by. I keep hoping to find the magic of her first books only to be more and more disappointed. No doubt both the reading and the writing quality are good. However, I wish this was a happier story showing how violent acts can destroy not only the damaged child but have the power to destroy a entire famil with a little less of tragedy. I wonder why Claire never told Annie, or her other sister Meg the reason behind the anger that consumed Elf considering the family's unity and love. Overall, the tale could have been sunnier without deviating from the intent. When I read for pleasure I want to feel hopeful not to feel sad, for that I only have news to read the news. I had a lot of trouble finishing to hear this book. So unless you want to be bummed for the fun of it, spend your money elsewhere or check the book from your local library.
That is the best way to describe this book. At first I was a little confused about the time period, and that made it hard to follow. Then when the internet was mentioned that helped. I gave it 3 stars because I did listen all the way through (mainly due to the narrator) but not sure I would recommend this audio book. If I had been reading rather than listening to the book, I think I would have abandoned it.
....it was also very magical and very sad at times..........the sisters are beautiful and each is damaged in her own way.....the lives they lead are amazing and tragic.....Alice Hoffman uses such beautiful prose when she writes..........you can actually smell the flowers and taste the foods that she writes about.........colors are much more beautiful in her books than in your average book...........I enjoyed this book and it is one that keeps me thinking about it long after I have finished it and put it down.
I have never been so disappointed in an Audible purchase as I have with this one. It seemed like a good read until about half way into part 1. Then I felt like it was a 4th grader writing about their experience at a rehab. It went on and on without any purpose. I finally deleted it from my list.
A quick, happy fix? Not this novel, but magically like life, if you can endure and hold on through the dark, rough squalls of the storm, you will find rich, warm yellow light on the other side. I find this a more satisfying read than "The Third Angel," which I loved, but this "The Story Sisters" is more lyrical, despite the tragedy lurking around every echoing corridor, beauty survives, joy bursts up like tomatoes of gold and green and brown in surprising places. Elv and Meg are fully drawn characters, even if they frustrate you to near death with their angst and self-loathing. But life has bad things, and often we lie to ourselves, hardly admitting that dark secret from back when, but it is always there, the demonic shadow, following along, pouncing upon every doubt, whispering in punctuation to every flaw. Alice Hoffman shows us that despite the bad things in every story, life is worth living, it is magical, and to my heart this story comes close to my two favorites "The Probable Future" and "Practical Magic." No romantic fluff here, but true romance, bone deep, painful, mysterious and haunting. There are funerals, and hardly a wedding, and more than a couple of calamities. But there is also invented language, fireflies of crystalline enchantment flitting all about the story. Read this novel once, and it is assured you will read it again. Art et Amour Toujours
If you listen for entertainment this is a well written, sad, depressing story. Well narrated. I kept listening, hoping for more than it gave. I realize many families probably live through much of the same but I don't pay for books to be brought down this far.
Almost every part moves me. Alice writing and the narrators performence does that to you!
Nancy Travis does a fantastic job with the narration of The Story Sisters, a roller coaster ride through the troubled life of the Story family. Both beautiful and heartbreaking as you watch events unfold in each of their lives stemming from the troubled and troubling actions of one. Dark and sobering with a few bright spots this is not a light read but definitely worth the time.
I really enjoyed listening to The Story Sisters and the story resonated with me for some times afterward. I enjoy how Alice Hoffman doesn't neatly tie-up her novels as they end, and how they are never idylic.
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