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Skylight Confessions

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  6,757 Ratings  ·  808 Reviews
Writing at the height of her powers, Alice Hoffman conjures three generations of a family haunted by love.
Cool, practical, and deliberate, John is dreamy Arlyn's polar opposite. Yet the two are drawn powerfully together even when it is clear they are bound to bring each other grief. Their difficult marriage leads them and their children to a house made of glass in the Con
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 11th 2008 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Rating details
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of dark magical-realism
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Theresa
Read “Practical Magical’ and was expecting something similar, a dark entertaining adult fairytale. It’s dark alright, bleak to be honest - more like Magical-Melodrama. We’re talking death, haunting, adultery, drug addition. Played out in a story spanning three generations and spiced with Hoffman’s trademark touch of magic.
It begins with Arlyn, a waif like orphan who believes fate dictates that the 1st guy she meets after her father dies will be the man of her dreams. Enter John Moody (yes, Mood
Deborah Edwards
(Please note: my rating is actually three and a half stars)

Anyone who mistakenly thinks reading an Alice Hoffman novel will be a light and enjoyable bit of fluff, has obviously never read one. Even at her most buoyant and optimistic, Ms. Hoffman writes books that will haunt you forever. And "Skylight Confessions" (a truly awful title for a book that deserved better) is not a buoyant and optimistic book by any stretch of the imagination. It is a sad book full of damaged people living lives full o
Mar 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could not engage with this book. I found it trite and superficial. I hung in through the end, though, hoping it would redeem itself. It is the first book I have read by Alice Hoffman, and I don't feel inspired to pick up another, though I know I should probably consider it, as Hoffman comes up a lot on people's favorite author lists.

From the beginning, I couldn't connect with Arlyn. Following the death of her father, she's devastated and on her own, and decides arbitrarily that she is going t
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
all I can say is I am on an Alice Hoffman readathon!! This book was depressing and slow but brilliant and sad.
Alayne Bushey
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every time I pick up an unread Hoffman novel I am amazed by her skill with the written word. The way she can form a sentence, twist it into something ethereal and beautiful, it always leaves me breathless. I always feel cleansed and well-read after a Hoffman novel, as though the books I finished leading up to her works were trivial and here is something of worth to spend my time on.

Following four generations of the Moody family who live in the Glass Slipper in suburban Connecticut, Skylight Conf
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another heartbreakingly beautiful story from Alice Hoffman.
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story begins with an introduction to the character Arlyn Singer, who at age seventeen has just lost her father. And as she stands on the porch after the funeral, gazing outward, she vows that the next person walking by will be "the one."

Then a stranger stops by, asking for directions, and they are drawn together. Even when circumstances appear to step in and interrupt what has begun, Arlyn persists. She follows John Moody, the architecture student, to his university and waits. Then she goes
Jan 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
i liked this one but did not love it. i do consider myself a fan of alice hoffman, but this one just wasn't on the top of my list.

i liked the first portion of the book, but then it just fell flat. i couldn't really relate to any of the characters. i loved sam's character initially but the teenage sam, i really didn't care for. he was just self absorbed & uninteresting, in my opinion.

now that i think about it, i really didn't like ANY of the characters. cynthia was a bitch but hoffman tried
Jan 02, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-give-up
This novel starts as an interesting story of a troubled Connecticut family. In a boring moment, it becomes a ghost story. The characters play only one note each, but there are enough of them to keep the story moving at first. When the ghost is doing something uninteresting single-mindedly, you recall that everyone here is single minded. The house of cards falls down, and the book goes on the "I give up" list.

Is it just me, or is the physicist apparently unemployed _because_ all of his research i
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Either this is not one of Alice Hoffman's bests or I have just tired of Hoffman's flowery style and silly plots. The story of a woman who impulsively marries the wrong man, they have a child, she gets pregnant with another man, she dies, the husband has an affair with the neighbor while his wife is dying, needless to say, the two children are totally messed up. The problem is not only is the plot riduclous but I didn't like any of the characters, so their tragedies and tramas didn't evoke much s ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title comes from the spectacular glass house which is almost like a separate character with a pull on its occupants. I think of this novel as a fairy-tale for adults. It even has the evil stepmother in its cast of characters! It's about family relationships through three generations. There is plenty of grief and many heartbreaking scenes. The characters are well-developed as we read about life's complications as family members try to connect.

It held my interest throughout even though it was
*The Angry Reader*
First and foremost, ignore that stupid title.

Second, I have earned a few happy books, and I plan on indulging. Holy crap. This book was bleak. Filled with that pervasive New England moroseness - death so matter of fact. Stiff upper lip and whatnot. I'm reeling from reading this thing.

Plot - Arlyn thinks her marriage is fated, and then it turns into a disappointment and awfulness happens to pretty much every character. It wasn't a teary-book. I didn't get attached to the characters. But I do fe
Jun 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman is the first book I've ever picked up based on an author's recommendation. During her Literary Salon Series interview Jodi Picoult mentioned that one of her favorite authors ever is Alice Hoffman so I of course jumped on and immediately ordered one of Hoffman's books that sounded interesting. I was wrong.

The basis synopsis of the book from the back cover is three generations of a family haunted by love, although now that I think about it I
Oct 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a venture into a fairy tale where it might be possible to fly away from life if it is damaged like this book's mythical people who can fly. Like in fairy tales however, this whimsical tale hides ugly realities such as dsysfuctional families, drug use etc.
Many methaphors hide in the pages such as the use of a glass house. Something about people who live in glass houses echos as you read it.At the same time you know that glass is transparent, you can see all the stuff that builds up.
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Why I am reading Alice Hoffman right now after experiencing tragic losses of two dear friends last year under the age of 40, I don't know. Do we find the book we are meant to read at the certain time? Are there signs given to us from our subconcious or could it be God leading us to a lesson that will help us heal when we read inside the pages of a book? I think these things at the end of a novel like this. I think and ponder why, just like all of Alice Hoffman's characters did in "Skylight Confe ...more
Nov 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
As an avid fan of Alice Hoffman and her "magic realism" I order her books hardcover I am so sure of their enjoyment. I know the prose will be a lyrical, colorful, elegant and memorizing while tackling dark issues. I know I will be utterly consumed and unable to read just a bit here and there. I know I will come away pondering and appreciating the read for all it's beauty and ugliness. "Skylight Confessions" did NOT let me down. Based on the premise of do we destine our fate or is it predestined ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Whenever I need a moment to leave the real world and enter the magical, I go to authors like Alice Hoffman and Kate Morton.

Once again, Hoffman does not disappoint.

This is a book that is as real as it is magical. Starting with a young girl whose sick father has just died so she tells herself that the next man who walks down her street will become her husband, the book will have you bemused and electrified. It is an American fairy tale based on reality and set in Connecticut.

The fabulous house:
Kelly Ballard
Hoffman again creates moving, real characters engaged in the messy business of life. The book revolves around the Moody family and of course, the name fits. This is an unhealthy, struggling family – secrets, affairs and drugs abound, but also truth.

What happens when fathers ignore their children? Is this a choice or is it a left over wound? Born of your own longing for a life not lived…And better yet, where is grace found? Can the unforgivable find forgiveness? As always, yes, grace can find yo
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good book from an author I am never disappointed by. The book is divided into three parts, no chapters. I have to admit that after the first part, I was a little down. It was just a lot of sadness, maybe a little overboard. But the second and third parts were a little more uplifting, in my opinion. I wasn't crazy about the ending. I felt like she ended the other two parts naturally, and I would have been happy with that in the third part. But she kind of left it awkwardly hanging: "...s ...more
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alone in the world after the death of her father, Arlyn makes a promise to herself – the first man to walk down the street will be the love of her life! That man is John Moody, a student of architecture, who does not wish to get seriously involved with anyone, but seems to be unable to resist the charms and persistence of the freckled red hair girl. Arlyn and John finally get married and move into an original glass house. But life as a family is not easy and tragedy seems to be looming above the ...more
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I was younger I loved Alice Hoffman. I loved that characters felt things so intensely that they literally burst into flames. Now that I'm older and less inclined to start on fire, I moved away from magical realism. I was prompted to read this one for a book club which was ironic because I've been plodding through her newer book The Dovekeepers for a different book club so I am drenched in this author after a long hiatus. It's not the same. Skylight Confessions is a strong story and the comp ...more
Amber Stosz
Well I cried twice within the first ninety pages of the book, So I expected to love this book. And though I love her prose as always, this book I found frustrating as well. I just wanted to tell the characters to move on with their lives. To pin your ultimate happiness on another human being is useless and utterly disastrous. I also had a hard time with her characters stance on addiction which is a whole other topic of discussion... let's just say I side with the father... there is only so much ...more
Sharon Huether
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, death
Skylight Confessions.By Alice Hoffman.. A family lived in a glass house where there was little love. The young son became uncontrollable after his mothers death. He was so angry and tormemted with grief, he turned to drugs. A nanny asked to help, she also saw the ghost. She almost but couldn't quite reach the son. The baby sister to young to remember her mother. The father showed no love or attention to his son. The father was haunted by the ghost of his dead wife, seeing her everywhere. He marr ...more
Jul 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Maybe I need to go on an Alice Hoffman diet, just like, not read her for a while, because I start to feel like. . .I don't know - the husbands will be bastards, the women will realize it at some point and something magical will happen. HOWEVER, that said, this one was pretty surprising. It did all of those things, sure - but the set up was different. And the magic was pretty ordinary. And then some very unpredictable stuff happened. I thought the book was going one place and then it took a crazy ...more
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe Alice Hoffman is officially my new favourite writer. There's something about the way she writes... the relationship she establishes with the words she uses... I think it's brilliant and it makes it so easy to feel the mood of the book, to get into it, to breathe through its characters!

I love how this book is divided and how the parts work together. They complete each other so perfectly. It's beautiful. The story and the way it is told is incredible. Makes you think, makes you dream, ma
Bob Walenski
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jenn warner
I read 4 books this week on vacation, 2 were amazng and 2 others slightly less so. This was the best of the best 2 and one of m,y favs ever.
I've just been introduced to Alice Hoffman as a writer, what little I knew about her was wrong. I FOUND THIS AS A USED HARDBACK COPY, signed by the author in the sale rack at a New Hampshire bookstore. What Luck!!!!!
The story is compelling, interesting, believable and poignant. The writing totally magnificent. Wonderful character development and a story that
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Alice Hoffman, people with dysfunctional families
Shelves: everydayreads
Hoffman's last few books haven't piqued my interest- I found myself reading them reluctantly. But this one proves she's back on her game again! The novel delves into the darker sides of families- it looks at addictions, death and affairs. All of these themes are tied together with Hoffman's famous mystical elements. The most heartbreaking character by far is Sam- a young man dealing with heroin addiction and obsessed with the stories his mother told him about a rare group of people from Connetic ...more
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Aunque al principio no lo parezca, es una historia con una parte dramática muy importante que no dejará indiferente al lector. A lo largo de todo el relato se conocerá la evolución de la vida de diversos personajes y la importancia tan grande que las decisiones y los remordimientos pueden tener"

Reseña completa: http://entrelalecturayelcine.blogspot...
Linda Lipko
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of Alice Hoffman's books. This is one of the finest. It is a hauntingly moving story of a dysfunctional family unit at its best...and worst.

Alice Hoffman is the master of character protrayal and writes with an in-depth, moving way about the threads that hold us together and then frustratingly become unraveled along the journey of life.

This is not a happy, feel good book. It is however, worth the read.
Kara Thomas
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was just too artsy for me. I felt that there wasn't enough development to make really care about any of the characters. Maybe if you have known someone caught in the throws of a heroin addiction in combination with mental health issues then it might resonate with you. Not one I'd recommend.
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Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. She lives near Boston.
More about Alice Hoffman...
“Real love, after all, was worth the price you paid, however briefly it might last.” 10 likes
“She had been grief stricken as her father lay dying but now she felt weightless, the way people do when they're no longer sure they have a reason to be connected to this world. The slightest breeze could have carried her away, into the night sky, across the universe.” 8 likes
More quotes…