In a rare and gorgeous departure, beloved novelist Alice Hoffman weaves a web of tale...more
With each story, Hoffman paints a picture of a new generation living in the house. Each story is different and special in its own way. There's tragedy, love, hope...all things found in abundance in all of Hoffman's novels, threaded through seve...more
I really like Alice Hoffman. Usually. This book is almost exactly like “The Red Garden” – but instead of the stories centering around a town called Blackwell, they all center around Blackbird House – built on the edge of the Cape by a sailor. Sailor and sons die in storm, wife goes a little nutty, and thus begins the whole book of short chapters about all the inhabitants thereafter.
And it worked for me in the other book just like this. I liked how the people were interconnected with each othe...more
I enjoyed this book, but ultimately found it less than satisfying. I found the first story--of the Hadleys--to be the most moving. Though I loved the sweet peas, turnips, and pear tree continuing (and appropriately changing through time) through the stories, I found the white blackbird to be kind of lame. I am still confused as to whether the original blackbird was white, if he turned white after the...more
I really love these sorts of inter-connected stories. I love the recurrence of symbolic images and the power of recurring themes. Hoffman has distilled the best qualities of her novels into these short stories, connected by one place over time. Different families through successive generations find themselves at Blackbird House, whether drawn there by unknown, invisible forces or called there by some deep emotional resonance... the characters in these stories struggle with life and emotion and r...more
This collection, to use a somewhat contrived metaphor, is like a number of small coloured stones or polished glass strung together to create a simple but very effective thing of beauty. By...more
What a gem it turned out to be!
Spanning a period of 200 years, it tells the story of the Blackbird House and the people that inhabit it over the duration of that time.
The farmhouse was built in a remote fishing village in Cape Cod, by a husband and wife, who wanted to turn to farming in a desperate bid to esca...more
Firstly, the story was very impersonal. I felt completely on the outside looking in as if hovering over the plot with no interest or interaction with those involved. It was as if I were a mold on a tree growing with busseling life all around me. I can see it, but don't comprehend and could care less sinc...more
What I loved the most about Alice Hoffman's writing was her style. It was absolutely phenomenal. Between her use of words and her descriptions, I was there. This is definitely one of those books that you just want to soak up and enjoy the words. However, for being a book that at times reads almost like poetry,...more
If I were her editor, I would have told her to write fewer vignettes and elaborate on the ones she decided to keep. Each of the stories contains vivid, richly drawn characters that deserved more plot development. There was very little transition between "chapters," making me feel as though I might have missed something along the way. While her writing is so good...more
Each story has one occurring character, a white blackbird. I think this bird is suppose to be like a spirit watching over the house and all those that live there. There are also plants and a summer kitchen that play a role in all the stories. They become a character of in themselves.
The book is a collection of short stories based on people who lived in a farmhouse in Cape Cod called Blackbird House. The storie...more
Attraverso questi racconti si viaggia nel tempo e si conoscono tutte le persone che vi hanno vissuto attraverso le generazioni in oltre 200 anni di storia. Si seguono brevemente le loro vite, intense, magiche e a volte tristi.
I salti storici non sono affatto pesanti o complessi, ma scorrevol...more
Whether it is men and boys lost at sea or promising young people snuffed out in traffic accidents or a woman who takes matters into her own hands toward an abusive husband, the tales in "Blackbird House" brim with dramatic twists and turns.
Hoffman handles this by quietly inserting these vertiginous twists as though they were just one more sentence in a row of others. E...more
I loved the use of symbols; s...more
I must admit, though, that I tend not to like short stories, as I like to have more time to get to know characters and places than they generally allow, and probably for...more