Judy's Reviews > Seventh Heaven

Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman
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's review
Mar 29, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: female-author, kindle, my-2016-books
Read from March 22 to 28, 2016

As usual with Alice Hoffman's writing, this story has an eery and magical air to it. Her writing is so dreamy and evocative. It is easy to feel what the characters are experiencing, their levels of despair, loneliness, satisfaction, longing, and need. The characters are such ordinary people in many ways, but each is unique and each is wanting something they don't have. We never know whether these feelings would have surfaced is Nora had not moved in to the neighborhood, but I could feel the "quiet desperation" suffusing the poor unsuspecting regular folks of Hemlock Street. Nora is an anomaly for the neighborhood - single mom, her home is not perfectly kept, she dresses differently and is a free spirit. She moves into a very strange house in the neighborhood. We never learn why the house is as weird as it is - that part of the story just dried up. The other women in the neighborhood won't talk to her. I bet being a single or divorced mom in 1959 was a lot like that. It reminded me in that sense of a book I read called "The Ladies Auxiliary" by Tova Mirvis. I read that this story is a bit autobiographical since Hoffman's mom was a single mom of that era. Nora is tough, though not without feelings and needs, and determined to make it on her own, She is sexy without going out of her way to be so. She is mysterious, free-thinking, and free-speaking. possibly giving us a look at things to come in the 1960's. I'm a huge fan of Alice Hoffman's writing. This book, while not my favorite, did not disappoint at all.

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