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Skylight Confessions

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  5,314 ratings  ·  648 reviews
Writing at the height of her powers, Alice Hoffman conjures three generations of a family haunted by love.
Cool, practical, and deliberate, John is dreamy Arlyn's polar opposite. Yet the two are drawn powerfully together even when it is clear they are bound to bring each other grief. Their difficult marriage leads them and their children to a house made of glass in the Con
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 11th 2008 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jul 14, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of dark magical-realism
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Theresa
Read “Practical Magical’ and was expecting something similar, a dark entertaining adult fairytale. It’s dark alright, bleak to be honest - more like Magical-Melodrama. We’re talking death, haunting, adultery, drug addition. Played out in a story spanning three generations and spiced with Hoffman’s trademark touch of magic.
It begins with Arlyn, a waif like orphan who believes fate dictates that the 1st guy she meets after her father dies will be the man of her dreams. Enter John Moody (yes, Mood
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Sally
I could not engage with this book. I found it trite and superficial. I hung in through the end, though, hoping it would redeem itself. It is the first book I have read by Alice Hoffman, and I don't feel inspired to pick up another, though I know I should probably consider it, as Hoffman comes up a lot on people's favorite author lists.

From the beginning, I couldn't connect with Arlyn. Following the death of her father, she's devastated and on her own, and decides arbitrarily that she is going t
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Deborah Edwards
(Please note: my rating is actually three and a half stars)

Anyone who mistakenly thinks reading an Alice Hoffman novel will be a light and enjoyable bit of fluff, has obviously never read one. Even at her most buoyant and optimistic, Ms. Hoffman writes books that will haunt you forever. And "Skylight Confessions" (a truly awful title for a book that deserved better) is not a buoyant and optimistic book by any stretch of the imagination. It is a sad book full of damaged people living lives full o
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Alayne Bushey
Every time I pick up an unread Hoffman novel I am amazed by her skill with the written word. The way she can form a sentence, twist it into something ethereal and beautiful, it always leaves me breathless. I always feel cleansed and well-read after a Hoffman novel, as though the books I finished leading up to her works were trivial and here is something of worth to spend my time on.

Following four generations of the Moody family who live in the Glass Slipper in suburban Connecticut, Skylight Conf
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Laurel-Rain
The story begins with an introduction to the character Arlyn Singer, who at age seventeen has just lost her father. And as she stands on the porch after the funeral, gazing outward, she vows that the next person walking by will be "the one."

Then a stranger stops by, asking for directions, and they are drawn together. Even when circumstances appear to step in and interrupt what has begun, Arlyn persists. She follows John Moody, the architecture student, to his university and waits. Then she goes
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Kristen
i liked this one but did not love it. i do consider myself a fan of alice hoffman, but this one just wasn't on the top of my list.



i liked the first portion of the book, but then it just fell flat. i couldn't really relate to any of the characters. i loved sam's character initially but the teenage sam, i really didn't care for. he was just self absorbed & uninteresting, in my opinion.



now that i think about it, i really didn't like ANY of the characters. cynthia was a bitch but hoffman tried
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Dina
This novel starts as an interesting story of a troubled Connecticut family. In a boring moment, it becomes a ghost story. The characters play only one note each, but there are enough of them to keep the story moving at first. When the ghost is doing something uninteresting single-mindedly, you recall that everyone here is single minded. The house of cards falls down, and the book goes on the "I give up" list.

Is it just me, or is the physicist apparently unemployed _because_ all of his research i
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Diane
Either this is not one of Alice Hoffman's bests or I have just tired of Hoffman's flowery style and silly plots. The story of a woman who impulsively marries the wrong man, they have a child, she gets pregnant with another man, she dies, the husband has an affair with the neighbor while his wife is dying, needless to say, the two children are totally messed up. The problem is not only is the plot riduclous but I didn't like any of the characters, so their tragedies and tramas didn't evoke much s ...more
Mary
Another heartbreakingly beautiful story from Alice Hoffman.
Machel
Why I am reading Alice Hoffman right now after experiencing tragic losses of two dear friends last year under the age of 40, I don't know. Do we find the book we are meant to read at the certain time? Are there signs given to us from our subconcious or could it be God leading us to a lesson that will help us heal when we read inside the pages of a book? I think these things at the end of a novel like this. I think and ponder why, just like all of Alice Hoffman's characters did in "Skylight Confe ...more
Julie
When I was younger I loved Alice Hoffman. I loved that characters felt things so intensely that they literally burst into flames. Now that I'm older and less inclined to start on fire, I moved away from magical realism. I was prompted to read this one for a book club which was ironic because I've been plodding through her newer book The Dovekeepers for a different book club so I am drenched in this author after a long hiatus. It's not the same. Skylight Confessions is a strong story and the comp ...more
Kelly Ballard
Hoffman again creates moving, real characters engaged in the messy business of life. The book revolves around the Moody family and of course, the name fits. This is an unhealthy, struggling family – secrets, affairs and drugs abound, but also truth.

What happens when fathers ignore their children? Is this a choice or is it a left over wound? Born of your own longing for a life not lived…And better yet, where is grace found? Can the unforgivable find forgiveness? As always, yes, grace can find yo
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Alison
A really good book from an author I am never disappointed by. The book is divided into three parts, no chapters. I have to admit that after the first part, I was a little down. It was just a lot of sadness, maybe a little overboard. But the second and third parts were a little more uplifting, in my opinion. I wasn't crazy about the ending. I felt like she ended the other two parts naturally, and I would have been happy with that in the third part. But she kind of left it awkwardly hanging: "...s ...more
Cheryl
Whenever I need a moment to leave the real world and enter the magical, I go to authors like Alice Hoffman and Kate Morton.

Once again, Hoffman does not disappoint.

This is a book that is as real as it is magical. Starting with a young girl whose sick father has just died so she tells herself that the next man who walks down her street will become her husband, the book will have you bemused and electrified. It is an American fairy tale based on reality and set in Connecticut.

The fabulous house:
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L
This book is a venture into a fairy tale where it might be possible to fly away from life if it is damaged like this book's mythical people who can fly. Like in fairy tales however, this whimsical tale hides ugly realities such as dsysfuctional families, drug use etc.
Many methaphors hide in the pages such as the use of a glass house. Something about people who live in glass houses echos as you read it.At the same time you know that glass is transparent, you can see all the stuff that builds up.
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Britni
Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman is the first book I've ever picked up based on an author's recommendation. During her Literary Salon Series interview Jodi Picoult mentioned that one of her favorite authors ever is Alice Hoffman so I of course jumped on Paperbackswap.com and immediately ordered one of Hoffman's books that sounded interesting. I was wrong.

The basis synopsis of the book from the back cover is three generations of a family haunted by love, although now that I think about it I
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Amber Stosz
Well I cried twice within the first ninety pages of the book, So I expected to love this book. And though I love her prose as always, this book I found frustrating as well. I just wanted to tell the characters to move on with their lives. To pin your ultimate happiness on another human being is useless and utterly disastrous. I also had a hard time with her characters stance on addiction which is a whole other topic of discussion... let's just say I side with the father... there is only so much ...more
Emily
Maybe I need to go on an Alice Hoffman diet, just like, not read her for a while, because I start to feel like. . .I don't know - the husbands will be bastards, the women will realize it at some point and something magical will happen. HOWEVER, that said, this one was pretty surprising. It did all of those things, sure - but the set up was different. And the magic was pretty ordinary. And then some very unpredictable stuff happened. I thought the book was going one place and then it took a crazy ...more
Rebecca
Oct 03, 2007 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Alice Hoffman, people with dysfunctional families
Shelves: everydayreads
Hoffman's last few books haven't piqued my interest- I found myself reading them reluctantly. But this one proves she's back on her game again! The novel delves into the darker sides of families- it looks at addictions, death and affairs. All of these themes are tied together with Hoffman's famous mystical elements. The most heartbreaking character by far is Sam- a young man dealing with heroin addiction and obsessed with the stories his mother told him about a rare group of people from Connetic ...more
Maggie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pat
I'm a big fan of Hoffman, but this one pretty much just left me cold. I guess I just don't have patience with "magical realism" anymore, so I couldn't figure out where the heck she was going. Was it a classic dysfunctional family novel, or a ghost story? I could have done without the latter elements and enjoyed the book much more.
It's always interesting to see how dysfunctionality is inevitably passed on between generations. John Moody has zero inner life and cannot connect with anyone else. He
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Linda Lipko
I've read all of Alice Hoffman's books. This is one of the finest. It is a hauntingly moving story of a dysfunctional family unit at its best...and worst.

Alice Hoffman is the master of character protrayal and writes with an in-depth, moving way about the threads that hold us together and then frustratingly become unraveled along the journey of life.

This is not a happy, feel good book. It is however, worth the read.
Kay
Another flawless story by Alice Hoffman. Hoffman creates a story here that encompasses more than individuals, she brings together generations and the stories they tell to each other and about each other. The Glass Slipper is an architect's dream, a house made of glass but it is haunted by the specter of Arlyn Singer who was the first wife of John Moody. As the family falls apart inside their palace an angel arrives in the form of Meredith Weiss who loves them and tries to help happiness form in ...more
Debby
I don't think anyone writes "real" up characters and the messes they can make of their lives and the lives of those they claim to love like Alice Hoffman AND keep you captivated at the same time! What a writer!!
I will say, in my humble opinion, I thought the ending was rather abrupt. I would have like to have seen the story go on a bit longer. But, we don't always get what we want! ;)
Melliott
Hoffman has gotten a bit darker as she has progressed in her literary career--at first I didn't like that and missed the lightheartedness of her early magical realism. But now I really appreciate the depth to which she goes with interpersonal relationships in her books. The characters in this one experienced a lot of personal pain, but also some transcendent moments. A good read.
Jackie
"He told of a tribe who lived on the other side of the water, in far-off Connecticut, who could sprout wings in the face of disaster. They looked like normal people until the ship went down, or the fire raged, and then they suddenly revealed themselves. Only then did they manage their escape." p. 4
Lisa
First of all: I got a Kindle. I am going Kindle crazy. I can take out e-books and audio books from the lib on my Kindle, OH Happy Day! But... when I set it up to borrow things, everything I wanted had holds. REALLY LONG holds. Boo. So I'm borrowing things I wouldn't normally borrow, like this. And at least in this case, I'm glad I did :)

So, onto the review: Don't you wish you could give 1/2 stars??? This is really a 3 and a 1/2 star book. It was beautifully written. The narrator was perfectly ca
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Ngaire
Erm, not my favorite of Alice Hoffman's - it was too grim for starters, and I felt like everytime she'd really start to get under the skin of a character, she'd then fastforward twenty years or so to the next generation. But a decent read, I suppose.
Christina
It was an oddly beautiful book. I really enjoy her writing style. She falls in to the category of magical realism, but that doesn't seem to do her justice. I always seem to have an actual, physical response to the beauty of her words.
Sharon Huether
Skylight Confessions.By Alice Hoffman.. A family lived in a glass house where there was little love. The young son became uncontrollable after his mothers death. He was so angry and tormemted with grief, he turned to drugs. A nanny asked to help, she also saw the ghost. She almost but couldn't quite reach the son. The baby sister to young to remember her mother. The father showed no love or attention to his son. The father was haunted by the ghost of his dead wife, seeing her everywhere. He marr ...more
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Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York ...more
More about Alice Hoffman...
The Dovekeepers Here on Earth Practical Magic The Museum of Extraordinary Things The Ice Queen

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“Real love, after all, was worth the price you paid, however briefly it might last.” 5 likes
“... hoping that if she just walked down the same street fate would whirl her backward in time until she was once more (fill in your age), when the future was something she had not yet stepped into, when it was just an idea, a moment, something that had not disappointed her yet.” 4 likes
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