Jennifer's Reviews > The Third Angel

The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman
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Feb 04, 11

Read from January 29 to February 02, 2011

This book was quite a disappointment. Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors and I expected a lot from this book, as I do of all her books. But right from the first page I knew there was trouble. I didn't like the voice of the first main character, Maddy. And as I learned more about Maddy (we do learn a little bit), the less I liked her character. I found her to be shallow, jealous, self-centered and very annoying. And what she does is despicable.

The book is sectioned into 3 parts focusing on 3 different women at 3 different times. You learn that all the women are interrelated in some way. Each section could be a novel on it's own, and probably should have been. I felt that Hoffman didn't develop any of her characters. She left them flat and in the cases of Maddy and Frieda, downright unlikeable. The only character I felt she did justice with was Lucy and unfortunately hers is the last section of the novel. All the stories are left wanting more. None come to any kind of satisfactory resolution.

And then there was the story of the Heron and the story of the Third Angel. These stories, meant to reflect in the characters, felt forced. Like an amateur writer trying to make her book 'deep' with metaphor. But Hoffman is no amateur writer so these stories just fell flat and adding nothing to the scope of the novel. Especially the heron story.

I know this is not how you are supposed to read a book, but if you want to get the most of this one, read it backwards: Lucy's section first, then Frieda, then Maddy. Or if you are a glutton for punishment, read it normally and then read it a second time. I really disliked the book so there is no way I am re-reading it.

If you are a Hoffman fan, skip this one. I wish I had.
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