The Third Angel
Alice Hoffman is one of our most beloved writers. Here on Earth was an Oprah Book Club selection. Practical Magic and Aquamarine were both bestselling books and Hollywood movies. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, and People mag...more
Take this sentence: "Seeing him, Frieda felt her love for her father; but she thought about how he'd betrayed them and love didn't seem quite so important." This is actually one of the more likeable examples of what I'm talking about, but imagine that style of desc...more
He could tell she was listening.
"He's nothing fierce or terrible or filled with light. He's like us, sometimes we can't even tell him apart. Sometimes we're the ones who try to save him. He's there to show us who we are. Human beings aren't gods. We make mistakes."
In this novel, Alice Hoffman tells the stories of three women entangled in unrequited love relationships. Each woma...more
Loving is easy – the outcomes are more complicated. Hoffman’s characters struggle with who they are; who they feel the should be; and no matter what decisions they make,...more
Some readers may dismiss Hoffman as a romance writer, but "so were Flaubert, Proust, the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen," responds the Baltimore Sun. Hoffman's graceful writing, beautifully drawn characters, and intricate plots raise her work far above typical romance fare. Critics laud her ability to portray flawed humans with heart-wrenching accuracy, as well as her inclusion of her trademark characteristic magical elements
But I didn't think The Third Angel was her best. (Publisher's Weekly disagrees; they gave it a starred review).
The story, told in reverse-chronological order by three narrators, starts with a woman who is wracked with guilt over having slept with her sister's fiance. This first section...more
after reading the story sisters by the same author, i really expected more from this book.
the writing in this does not even come close to paralleling the poetry that resonated in story sisters. the writing here is forced, the sentences amateur, the characters felt so contrived. rather than showing us who these people were through telling actions or words, the author just states this is who they are, this is why - it's almost like we are reading a...more
Hoffman writes about love, but not in a way that car...more
The book begins with a protaganist so unlikable that I nearly gave up four pages in. Self-absorbed, hideously disloyal, self-pitying and narcisstic, I couldn't have cared less what happened to her and was mightly relieved when we moved onto our second female heroine.
Freida is entirely more likeable and at this point in the story we begin to dig deeper into the ghost story that lies at the heart of this book. My interest was peaked and yet - and yet I found myself skim-reading. T...more
Why recreate what was already said in the NYT:
From NYT Book Review:
“The Third Angel” unfolds in reverse, starting in 1999 with the arrival in London of a brittle New York lawyer, Maddy Heller, for the wedding of her older (and, she believes, favored) sister, Allie. The novel then steps back to the swinging London of 1966, a magnet for bright rebels li...more
Our first encounter with sisters Maddie and Allie uncovers a betrayal by the younger sister who lives a care-free existence based on the fact that she believes that she was an unloved child. Allie, the older sister, has pretty much done what was expected of her because she has always been the caretaker;...more
However in the hotel that Maddy stays in for her sister's wedding in England appears to be haunted!!! This immediately caught my attention. The story weaves around Maddy, Allie, their mother an...more
I've read some quite poor reviews of this on Amazon, which I think are a little unfair and certainly don't fit with experience of this book. Throughout the book there are several obvious things which link the three stories in this book, we meet, after all, several characters in each of these three time periods of the stories - and gradually come to see what brought each of them to where they are at the start of the book. The women in The Third Angel are each drawn to unsuitable men, and as alway...more
It's probably telling that I kept falling asleep while trying to read the book, and that I didn't finish it before the book club met again yesterday. I renewed the book, though, wanting to read it to t...more
The book opens when Maddy arrives in London to assist with preparations for the we...more
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and beautiful..., June 27, 2010
By Denise "DC" (Missouri, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Third Angel: A Novel (Paperback)
I've read many of Alice Hoffman's novels and each is a story that lingers long after the last page has been turned and the book closed. This one is particularly haunting and I've found myself doing something I rarely do -- rereading the book from the opening chapter. Skimming to a particular segment and then leafing th...more
First off let me state that the scenery in this book is phenomenal. Leave it to Hoffman to paint a picture for us so vivid, that we feel like we are indeed there with the characters.
Character development is also well done, another one of Hoffman's positive attributes. However, the stories in this novel fall completely flat around such stand alone characters. Stories were never really...more
I thought that the layout of the book was interesting. Each of the three sections was broken up into different time periods within the lives of the main characters. It didn't bring them all together in the end but you come to understand how they are all interrelated. I am still not entirely sure who the Third Angel was.
I really did like the different characters a...more
In the first part we have two sisters, the younger whose jealousy towards her sister nearly ruins their relationship. Their...more
But I felt like the pace of the book was working against my reading enjoyment. The first two stories almost felt rushed. This was probably du...more
I must say when Paul died in the hospital bed at 5:22 a.m. and Alley tried to grab his spirit as it left the room with her clumsy hands, a melancholia came over me and I had wished that their fate had been quite different than the quick hospital wedding ceremony and then shortly after he died. 96 pages now.
**Just finished section with Freida. I think Frieda's part of the s...more
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He could tell that she was listening.
'He's nothing fierce or terrible or filled with light. He's like us, sometimes we can't even tell him apart. Sometimes we're the ones who try to save him. He's there to show us who we are. Human beings aren't Gods. We make mistakes.”