Liza's Reviews > Blackbird House
by Alice Hoffman (Goodreads Author)
bookshelves: library-loans, 2011, hoffman
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 relationships and the call of the sea and the longing for something more, something other.
I love this book. I love these stories. But I felt sort of like it was unfinished. Perhaps Hoffman intentionally left the idea that somewhere out there Blackbird House exists still, and perhaps we, as readers, will find ourselves drawn there. But really, it seemed as though she ended the last story as a work in progress, a life in progress. She left off with the future just opening for that particular story's protagonist. I liked that element, that open ending, of that one story, but as the last story in the book, I felt that there could have been some other sort of ending, whether something circular that tied back to the first story, or something more final to finish the collection.
Altogether, this collection is one of my favorites of Hoffman's, along with The Story Sisters. I would recommend it to anyone who likes distinctive characters and a hint of magical realism.