The Story Sisters
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The Story Sisters

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  8,459 ratings  ·  1,333 reviews
From the New York Times Bestselling
Author of The Third Angel

Alice Hoffman’s previous novel, The Third Angel, was hailed as "an unforgettable portrait of the depth of true love" (USA Today), "stunning" (Jodi Picoult), and "spellbinding" (Miami Herald). Her new novel, The Story Sisters, charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet al...more
Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Random House LLC (first published January 1st 2009)
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Michele Harrod
There really needs to be a 6th star for Alice Hoffman. When I see that there is a new novel out, I get butterflies in my stomach in antipation of the joy that is about to be held in my hands. Before I turn the cover, I am like a child again on Xmas morning - just before the household wakes, and it is time for presents to be opened. I cancel life, and settle in for my journey. My breath shortens as I read, and my heart swells amidst the beauty of her words and the love that she paints - sometimes...more
JJ
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Judith
In my humble opinion, Alice Hoffman has either degenerated or I have outgrown her. This book read like a Danielle Steels novel---all incredible extremes.

This girl is the most beautiful girl in the world; men commit suicide over her when she is a teen. Everyone adores her, yet she cares for no one except her little sister. She becomes more and more withdrawn, sitting in a tree outside her window; running off in the night barefooted to get involved in drugs and drinking and sex, because she suffe...more
Maria
I ran into Alice Hoffman by accident. This is kinda my thing... lately I've been running into many, until then unknown to me, authors that quickly become part of my favourites list... in a blink of an eye, I would say, or perhaps at the turn of a page, if you prefer.

There's one word that perfectly describes Alice Hoffman's books (even though I haven't read all of them... yet): enchanting. Her words lure you to a private little world... and you fall in love with it, not being able to put it down,...more
Sara
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Catherine
I saw the following review and it was exactly how I'd describe the book myself. So I thought I'd share it here with my friends: My experience reading this book was somewhat surreal. In the beginning, it was a bit like a train wreck or a car accident - ghastly and grim, yet I couldn't look away. It was nothing like I expected, not at all what I wanted, and yet I found myself incapable of just returning it, unread, to the library. I continued on, reading the unfolding horrors and drama, told in th...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
This was a rather strange book - it was dark, mysterious and also enchanting as well as being a very difficult book to describe! The way that it is written is detailed and beautiful - I really do think that the writing style should be commended. Especially in the sections situated in Paris, I soaked up the atmosphere and felt as though I was there. The subjects that are faced in this book are pretty 'sinister' (Abuse, mental issues, drugs) and the book does seem dark, but not at all horrifying -...more
Diane
Alice Hoffman is an author known for her novels filled with magical touches. Her latest, The Story Sisters, continues that, when a magical world created by three sisters collides with the reality of the world in which we all exist.

Elizabeth, called Elv, Meg and Claire Story live with their mother in a small town on Long Island. Their parents are in the middle of a bad divorce, and it has affected the girls deeply. When they were young children, Elv (whose nickname connotes the fairy-like elves)...more
Nancy
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Laurie
“The Story Sisters” is a grim tale. This family of three very close sisters, their divorced mother, and their maternal grandmother, can’t catch a break. One bad thing happens after another; child rape, illness, accidents, deaths, self harm, alcoholism, drugs, self isolation and an almost total lack of communication shatters the family.

And yet there are traces of magic, both good and bad. Demons attach themselves to young girls. Cakes make one tell only the truth. Some of the characters find hap...more
Lynn
Alice Hoffman doesn't just write about magical reality, she performs it. I had no idea, really, what to expect when I picked this up (other than lovely prose and captivating characters, of course) since no one else I know has read it yet. What happened was like being grabbed by the throat and yanked into the Story sisters' world. Each Alice Hoffman book has me greedily reading as if starved for words and language, and when I am through, I usually feel wistful, but sated. With this book, the banq...more
Vasilika
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Toni
4.5 or a 5-THis is difficult book to review. Let's start that I was on vacation, I started the book at 8am after a walk and read until my husband was done working at noon, then read and finished it by 11 pm at night- it would not let go. After finishing it, while my husband slept,I could not stop thinking about the characters- Even though I would class this as a fable or allegory or fantastical even , the characters seemed real to me.Not just the 3 girls but even the mom and grandma and Pete, bu...more
Tara
I really wanted to like this book, but from the beginning I was forcing myself to read it. I have liked other books by Hoffman, but this book just lacked her usual touch of magic that I have always enjoyed.
The magical element that was in the book was a story of a made up world that the Story Sisters created called Arnelle. At first, all of the sisters were likable, but as Elv delves into a world that is more bleak, the story became darker. It does portray a family in crisis and how one person c...more
Tressa
I have officially just stayed up all night long to finish the remaining 3/4 of The Story Sisters, something I have done infrequently in my life. I have to get up and go to work in another two hours, but I won't be able to sleep, so what do I care?

Like another favorite female author of mine--Anne Tyler--Alice Hoffman knows how to spin a story about the mundane parts of our lives, but also the magical moments. Characters are introduced on a whim or chance meeting, and they may serve as an anchor i...more
Joe Valdez
This was my introduction to Alice Hoffman, an author selected by the Oprah Book Club (her bio on the dust jacket says so). It wasn't the Hoffman title I wanted to start with -- The Dovekeepers intrigued me more -- but it was one my library had in stock.

I lasted 10 pages.

The Story Sisters has to do with three beautiful sisters (Hoffman mentions how beautiful they are repeatedly) aged 15, 14 and 12. Their favorite things are Paris, the Plaza Hotel and listening to the oldest sister spin tales of m...more
Alexia561
This book started out so promising, and I was utterly charmed by Hoffman's writing from the very first page. Sadly, this enchantment did not last very long. The main story revolves around the three Story sisters: Elv, Megan and Claire. Elv is the oldest, and the creator of a magical imaginary world that the three sisters share. Unfortunately, the magic doesn't last.

None of the characters were very appealing. Annie, the mother, seemed weak, clueless, and helpless. Elv was simply unpleasant. And t...more
Ruth
I wasn't sure what to expect when picking up this book and found it both enchanting and mysterious at the same time.

Alice Hoffman's writing style in this book should be highly commended. She takes you into this world of both light and dark at the same time.

What would you do for the ones you love ?

Elv the eldest Story sister creates a world of fantasy in Arnelle which she shares with her two other sisters Meg and Claire. She creates this world as a way to escape the tradegy of shoving her sister...more
Alisa
The best thing about this book is the way it got me thinking. I mean actually adjusted the waves of my brain. Deep, and dark and swimmy, moving around out of the light went my neural impulses. It was so strong on fairy tale, it took me back to reading the 'Green Fairy Book' eating braunschweiger (we didn't call it liverwurst) sandwiches at my grandfather's kitchen table in the log cabin. It took me back to that girl in cowboy boots and pigtails, and all the things I knew and believed were real....more
Tami Riedinger Kitchener
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Marigold
I’m typically not a fan of Alice Hoffman nor of magical reality novels. But this one was different. It’s a story about 3 sisters, Elv, Meg & Claire who live with their mom. Something terrible happens to Elv & Claire that changes their lives forever, but knowing that their mom is sad about her divorce, they never tell her. In the absence of appropriate treatment for their trauma, the girls invent a secret world, with its own language, that they spend more & more time in. Over the year...more
Felicia
I just can't keep reading this book. Thank you to those of you who have given me the courage to quit! It has been sitting next to my bed for weeks. Awhile ago I kept skimming ahead to see what happens but I am not compelled to read it. It's just not for me.
RNOCEAN
Alice Hoffman’s previous novel, The Third Angel, was hailed as "an unforgettable portrait of the depth of true love" (USA Today), "stunning" (Jodi Picoult), and "spellbinding" (Miami Herald). Her new novel, The Story Sisters, charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighb...more
beth
Recommendation: don't start this book at 1am when you're in bed and want to read for just a couple minutes before sleeping. No, you'll be up for the next 4-5 hours because this book, while not the most astounding or deep work of literature ever, is nevertheless unputdownable. And now, several days later I'm still thinking about it.



I've been a longtime fan of Alice Hoffman and I feel like her newer books are getting increasingly Jodi Picoultesque with all the over the top melodrama and super-conv...more
Meneesha Govender
This has to be one of |the most haunting, |heart-breaking books I've |read this year.

Elv, Meg and Claire live with their mother on Long Island. They're beautiful, mysterious, intriguing and envied by all their peers.

They also have their own form of communication - something that appears harmless and endearing at first, but turns out the |be the source of their eventual undoing.

It is this secret world that the sisters inhabit that has you questioning throughout the beginning of the novel whether...more
Alicia Duell
I was really looking forward to this book, but didn't even finish it! That's rare for me. I like Alice Hoffman, and I enjoy some magical realism, but this was just way too melodramatic for me. It was about these sisters (last name, Story) who have their own language and their own make believe world, but the oldest, Elv, is drifting further and further away from the "real world" and becoming more and more part of "Arnelle", which to me sounds like a hillbilly name as opposed to a mythical faerie...more
Grace
A beautiful story of love and sadness, miscommunication and communion, demons and faeries, and three little girls lost. I have read a handful of Alice Hoffman books before this one, and this is definitely among the best of hers that I've read.

Other reviewers have given this book low ratings for its depressing storyline, and yes, I have to acknowledge that if you're already down in the depths of despair, this may not be the book to read. But the thing is...none of the sadness is thrown in for it...more
Betsy
This was a compulsively readable coming-of-age tale mixed with fantasy elements. There were times as I was reading where I pretty much knew where the narrative was headed but I didn't mind because I wanted to find out how Hoffman would get us there. The language is accessible and the characters believable...with the fantasy element making the parts that are less believable work. The focus was mainly on two of the story sisters, the eldest - Elv and her youngest sister, Claire. You really see how...more
Barbara
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Dawn
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Sisterhood of the...: May 2014: The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman 2 13 May 06, 2014 06:37PM  
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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...
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“When I walk, I walk with you. Where I go, you're with me always.” 273 likes
“Sometimes words drew blood, they cut your tongue, they made you know things you couldn't unknow. ” 74 likes
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