Fortune's Daughter
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Fortune's Daughter

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  2,346 ratings  ·  101 reviews
This novel from the bestselling author of Practical Magic and Turtle Moon tells the story of two women--one young, unmarried, and far from home as she awaits the birth of her first child, the other a mother who lost her daughter long ago...
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by Berkley Trade
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Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanHere on Earth by Alice HoffmanThe Dovekeepers by Alice HoffmanThe Probable Future by Alice HoffmanThe Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
Best Alice Hoffman Novel
24th out of 34 books — 245 voters
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Feb 22, 2008 Jenn rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Alice Hoffman fans who want to read her entire catalog.
I have long been an Alice Hoffman fan, but with such a prolific catalog from which to choose, I had always read primarily from her more recent work. I started with Practical Magic, then bounced to Blue Diary, which was the most recent at the time, and just kept reading. Fortune's Daughter, on the other hand, one of Hoffman's earlier works, lacks the pizazz of her more recent novels. The magic of everyday life is lost in the more traditional female characters of the early 80s. You want to shak...more
I picked this up from Hollings Cancer Center's book sale shelf, conned by a reprinting into thinking this was a new Hoffman, rather than an old one decked out in a new cover. On the one hand, I can see elements of Hoffman's style, which she has honed and crafted into a wondrous thing, richly adored by so many readers (myself included). On the other hand, there were some already tired themes (good girl/bad guy ; rejection) that filled the pages. It's a book about loss, in many forms, a theme I ju...more
I love Alice Hoffman! Her prose is like poetry. I was introduced to her about ten years ago by a friend. It was Practical Magic. Some of her plots are better than others but the imagery of her words never fails to capture me.
Christine Locke
I'm surprised by the number of negative reviews for this novel. This is actually the first Hoffman novel I read all the way through.

First of all, the writing is breathtaking. _I_ want to write like this. The interweaving of image, especially nature image, with character and action inspires.

Second, the characters all carry pain, even the "bad boy" with the "good girl." And no one is that one-dimensional. The "good" girl is not always good. The "bad" boy is not always bad. And the attempts to conn...more
Heidi Garrett
Dec 29, 2012 Heidi Garrett rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heidi by: Alice Hoffman fan
When I read this, I was ready for another Alice Hoffman book. She takes the ordinary world, makes it completely awful, and then pulls all of the magic and wonder out of it, like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat. I have several Alice Hoffman books on my sagging Kindle bookshelves and not sure what made me pick this one next, but it was a perfect read for the moment that I was in.

I wonder how much my response to a book has to do with the moment I pick it up in time and start reading it. Like...more
Jun 09, 2010 Lizzie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lizzie by: I brought it upon myself, and have no one else to blame.
Shelves: 2010, reviewed
Hoffman is a master at portraying the raw humanity of her characters. It's that portrayal of those raw emotions that we all feel - but could never explain - that makes her such a popular author. We can relate to her characters because of this, even though outwardly we have nothing in common with them. As Practical Magic was my first Hoffman novel, the bar was raised fairly high for the rest of her books. Fortune's Daughter doesn't even come close. It's not a stretch for me to say that it was a d...more
Nov 06, 2007 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Literary fans
A friend of mine told me she hated this book, so of course I had to read for myself, not sure if I would agree with her or disagree since we tend to be opposite on most things. However, I really did like this book and it wasn't out of spite either. Unlike other Hoffman novels, I could actually follow this one, and once I got into the rhythm, it was really hard to put down.

Rae left home as a teenager, following a boyfriend who never really cared about her and, several years later, still makes th...more
Amy Knight
I've been on a bit of an Alice Hoffman kick and just finished two in a week's time. I found this one to be sad, and I'm concerned that Hoffman writes of such lonely women that are man-crazed and desperate. Even when there is a loving relationship, there seems to still be so much loneliness. These poor women spend so much time without friends and shame, guilt, fear that is so consuming that they can't let one person character can't tell her husband a secret regardless of the proof of h...more
Alice Hoffman's stories are always lyrical, mystical and compelling; this one does not disappoint in that respect. It's the story of two women, Lila and Rae. Lila is still mourning the daughter she bore 25 years ago and gave up for adoption; Rae is about that daughter's age and is struggling with a relationship with Jessup, whom she has loved since high school. Their paths cross in California when Rae comes to Lila to have her fortune told. Rae is desperate because she knows Jessup is about to l...more
Alice Hoffman is a gift to readers; her prose is lyrical and poetic. Once you open a Hoffman book, you are hooked. I have read everything she has written and have never once been disappointed. When an author can write a sentence such as ..."But neither of them could go to the other; a thin sheet of glass had sprung up between them, and it separated them until they were as distant from each other as they were from the stars." ... how can you not fall in love with that? And another example: "Lila...more
i wanted to give this book one star because of the over-used, boring combination of good girl/bad guy characters. i couldn't believe this was a "new york times notable book" with this unoriginal set up: no one loves the boy except this girl, who thinks he's misunderstood, when really he's just borderline abusive and she spends all her time trying not to upset him when it's obvious he has one foot out the door, and oh, yeah, they move around a lot and have no money, but they have a great sex life...more
Some beautiful paragraphs here and there, but the story was a little odd and confusing, and I was close to giving up a few times near the end. I didn't mind the two female characters or Lila's husband too much (altho none of them were extremely likable), but Rae's boyfriend was just irritating all the time, and I kept wishing she'd just forget him.

I've only read one of Alice Hoffman's books before, "Local Girls", which I remember liking more than this one. I do have two more of her books on my s...more
Very fast read about two women; their separate lives and how they intertwined. How cicumstances can effect you at the time and in the future, basically, your whole life. Sad, tender, heartwarming. If you like Anita Shreve, this is a good one for you.
Andrew Herren
I am a huge Alice Hoffman fan and this book did not disappoint. Reading her books from newest to oldest seems kind of backward, but I can really see how she has grown over the years. She has honed her mystical approach to a subtlety that doesn't require it to be in every page. I really liked this book and felt a connection with basically all of the characters. The way that she brought Jessup back in to the story (and made a sympathetic character out of him) was no less than amazing. I went from...more
Allison Fetch
I adore Hoffman's writing - she is so lyrical and her imagery is beautiful and pulls me into the story so that I don't want to stop reading. I did find the plot to be a little heavy, but the characters were vibrant and I cared about what happened to them. A lovely, lovely book.
Beautifully written and full of emotion. A woman who gave her child away and is haunted by this becomes friends with another woman who is pregnant and essentially alone. I felt so frustrated with Lila when she wouldn't tell her husband her secret and he loved her so completely and could have helped her through it. Loved the way the relationships between Richard, Lila and rae grew even though each had their own difficulties, they helped each other in great ways. So interesting to read how holding...more
Ever since Seventh Heaven I've been a fan of Hoffman.
Vicki Victoria
Magical realism at it's best. Hoffman's descriptive powers are unmatched.
Yes, I'm recycling this review from my reviews of Illumination Night and Turtle Moon, because these are my three all-time favorite Alice Hoffman books. Like most of her books, Fortune's Daughter is full of magic, desperation and tragic love. Hoffman's newer books have left me less impressed than her older ones; the older ones had plots and incredible characters, but the newer ones get too lost in dreamy otherworldliness for my taste. I gotta have something to hold on to, you know what I mean? Fo...more
My new favorite Alice Hoffman, even though it is one of her older works. Compelling (to me) plot and some of her most poignant, vivid, and graceful writing (in my opinion).

I tend to agree with the other reviewers who prefer Hoffman's older works (Seventh Heaven, Practical Magic, etc.). I have Skylight Confessions on my shelf to read. It's one of her newest works so I am anxious to read it and compare.

Flawed characters? Absolutely. That what makes them so real and endearing. Just the right touch...more
I do like Alice Hoffman. It's just that I'm not too fond of this one. I find this easy and quick to read. Some parts are so beautiful, such as the relationship between Richard and Lila.

I'm not sure what makes me skim through this book. I still find the magic every book of hers shares, but I'm not too enchanted by it :)

I know why.

I don't like the two main characters. They are both so fragile (Rae is too selfless, Lila is too selfish). I want them so much to get a life and try to reach out for hel...more
I'm a huge Alice Hoffman fan. She's one of the few authors that I'll pony up the money to buy her book in hardcover the first week of release. I've been reading her older stories now, and it's like watching the evolution of a writer in progress. The gorgeous writing and lyrical observations that I associate with her style are present in this novel, but they're not as pervasive as in her later books. I still enjoyed this story, though. It's got great characters and that underlying sense of larger...more
I love Alice Hoffman in general, and even her so-so books are pretty good (except for drowning season-never could get into that one).
I read this book after having my first daughter. I sobbed the whole time I read this. Literally. Every time I sat down to read this, I bawled, gut wrenching sobs. I was never affected like that before by a book. Maybe it was the hormones. I haven't re-read it. I'm a little afraid to. But I have never forgotten it.
I prefer Hoffman's later novels but...this one I enjoyed!!

I loved this story of Rae, Jessup, Lila and Richard! It would have been even better had the other wordly parts been left out and more of "this earth" stuff included.

I couldn't go to bed without finishing this so stayed up until 1:15a.m. just so I could find out the ending! There was NO ENDING!!! Ugggh!!! Why does she do this to us? I want to know what Rae had!! lol
The dichotomy of this book simply compels you to read it. While the story is mostly mundane, selfish boyfriend, friendless pregnant girlfriend, befriends a fortune teller with a secret past, develops severe depression, etc., the writing is so incredibly beautiful, magical even. While not really caring about the story, I simply wanted to experience the reading of it. Now that I've completed the book, I'm sorry it's over.
This is and engaging little book. I related to the birthing and the way she wrote about it. It's would have been better if the author flushed out made more central and heartwarming the two women Rae and keep expecting them to bond, heal each other and you get the feeling they did but it ends with that kind of wanting...would have liked to have it written out. But it's a good read.
seriously?? Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite writers but I really just didn't get this book at all. There was nothing witchy or fortuitous in the story. I didn't get the tea leave omen, because she never tells you how it ends. I didn't get the sense of any turning point in the main characters thought process or anything, it never took off for me. Huge disappointment.
Abby Warren
Loved! Loved! Loved! It's possible that I loved this book almost as much as I loved Here on Earth which is my favorite book of Hoffman's so far. The stories of the women in this book weaved together so beautifully and the passion that they each had for their convictions was so emotional that I found myself laughing and crying right along with them. Amazing!
The lives of two women become intertwined despite the fact that they don't reallys eem to have anything obvious in common. Rae, who has recently separated from her boyfriend is awaiting the birth of her child, and Lila has a secret she has vever told anyone about. Hoffman does a superb job of making you believe the unbelievable.
Alice Hoffman always writes interesting stories, but they don't always stick with you. This one follows a woman who was forced to give her baby up for adoption, how she helps a young woman in some stupid trouble, how she searches for her lost baby and what she gains in the process. Interesting, but not note-worthy.
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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 Ice Queen The Red Garden

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