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Publisher's Summary

Beginning on the night of the Grand Illumination, a festival of lanterns held each summer on Martha's Vineyard, this novel is a modern chronicle of a marriage and a bittersweet exploration of an extraordinary passion. Illumination Night follows the lives of a young blond giant who is as beautiful as he is frightening; an old woman at the end of her life whose last mission is to save her granddaughter's soul; a family torn apart by a wife's fears and a husband's unrealized desires; and the high school girl who comes to Martha's Vineyard against her will, who steals husbands and cars, and who will bring everyone together in a web of yearning, sin, and ultimate redemption. Both riveting and reflective, this is a story that brings to light the talent that has made Alice Hoffman an acclaimed bestselling author.

©2002 Alice Hoffman (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    66
  • 4 Stars
    136
  • 3 Stars
    160
  • 2 Stars
    41
  • 1 Stars
    38

Performance

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    93
  • 4 Stars
    135
  • 3 Stars
    106
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    19

Story

  • 3.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    103
  • 3 Stars
    134
  • 2 Stars
    49
  • 1 Stars
    36
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tobi
  • Sandy, UT, USA
  • 09-20-15

Didn't like the characters but....

I didn't like the characters. I felt there was so little love and never without heartache to follow. It may be gritty life but it isn't my life or life experiences. That being said the story did grip me and I couldn't stop listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Didn't enjoy

This was a tough book for me to like. The characters are well-drawn and did feel connected to them at various times. But the story's many themes and events (childhood, adolescent rebellion, guilt, shame, agoraphobia, aging, death of young and old, being different - too short or too tall - marriage, parenthood, infidelity) were too much and I stopped caring about the outcomes toward the end of the book.

I think the book was written wraith much too much narration and not enough dialog. I was TOLD what people said, did, thought, bit felt like I didn't experience it.

And... I really didn't like the narrator. She added unnecessary emphasis to some words and phrases, making it hard for me to judge anything for myself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

People each finding their unique path to peace.

This story depicts every age group amusingly accurately. Each character is believable, lovable, and gently flawed. Well worth your time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

It was interesting... I think

If you are looking to get into the minds of people with various social dysfunctions, then this is the book for you. The story itself seems somewhat secondary and circumstantial. The narrator did a good job on most of it, but I couldn't get past how much she made the teenage girl sound like a 5-year-old. Anyway it did keep me interested enough to finish, and it wasn't hard to get through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A keeper

Do not hesitate to listen to this book if you like beautiful prose and meaningful literature.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Story

Irritating

I am not liking that this author is writing the whole book in present tense. I am making it past tense by stopping listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not the best I've listened to

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, pretty dreary cast of characters.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

A couple characters that weren't so depressed or depressing would help.

What does Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Just reading through all the way deserves a medal. She did a fine job.

Any additional comments?

Sounds like they need a good shrink in this town with so many mentally troubled people.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Barbara
  • San Jose, CA, United States
  • 10-03-15

a forgetable book

The characters weren't believable to me. I did like the story line about the retired policeman and his relationship with the giant. I really didn't like the teenager trying to breakup a marriage, and the wife just going along with it. The old woman wasn't fleshed out, none of the characters were fleshed out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jim
  • Indiana, USA
  • 09-30-15

Awful

It was ridiculous from start to finish. I only completed it because I had paid for it. I was relieved when it was over!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

i love Alice Hoffman

Her books are all so magical while still staying realistic. This is just a good listen, not my favoriteof hers, but really good.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful