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Fortune's Daughter

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  4,009 Ratings  ·  231 Reviews
This fierce and beautiful story charts the histories of two women: Rae, young and unmarried and far from home, awaits the birth of her first child. Lila, a fortune-teller with no interest in the future, has lost her own daughter more than a quarter of a century earlier in New York. When these two women meet in Southern California it’s Earthquake Weather – the time when une ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by Berkley (first published April 1st 1985)
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Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Alice Hoffman fans who want to read her entire catalog.
I have long been an Alice Hoffman fan, but with such a prolific catalog from which to choose, I had always read primarily from her more recent work. I started with Practical Magic, then bounced to Blue Diary, which was the most recent at the time, and just kept reading. Fortune's Daughter, on the other hand, one of Hoffman's earlier works, lacks the pizazz of her more recent novels. The magic of everyday life is lost in the more traditional female characters of the early 80s. You want to shak ...more
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love Alice Hoffman! Her prose is like poetry. I was introduced to her about ten years ago by a friend. It was Practical Magic. Some of her plots are better than others but the imagery of her words never fails to capture me.
Heidi Garrett
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Heidi by: Alice Hoffman fan
When I read this, I was ready for another Alice Hoffman book. She takes the ordinary world, makes it completely awful, and then pulls all of the magic and wonder out of it, like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat. I have several Alice Hoffman books on my sagging Kindle bookshelves and not sure what made me pick this one next, but it was a perfect read for the moment that I was in.

I wonder how much my response to a book has to do with the moment I pick it up in time and start reading it. Like
Christine Locke
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magical-realism, 2013
I'm surprised by the number of negative reviews for this novel. This is actually the first Hoffman novel I read all the way through.

First of all, the writing is breathtaking. _I_ want to write like this. The interweaving of image, especially nature image, with character and action inspires.

Second, the characters all carry pain, even the "bad boy" with the "good girl." And no one is that one-dimensional. The "good" girl is not always good. The "bad" boy is not always bad. And the attempts to conn
I picked this up from Hollings Cancer Center's book sale shelf, conned by a reprinting into thinking this was a new Hoffman, rather than an old one decked out in a new cover. On the one hand, I can see elements of Hoffman's style, which she has honed and crafted into a wondrous thing, richly adored by so many readers (myself included). On the other hand, there were some already tired themes (good girl/bad guy ; rejection) that filled the pages. It's a book about loss, in many forms, a theme I ju ...more
Marie Sexton
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
If I'd rated Fortune's Daughter the moment I finished it, I would have given it 5 stars. I was completely engrossed and rather weepy by the end. But, having thought about it for a day, there are several points I wish had been wrapped up a little neater. It felt like a lot of things were left unresolved. Still, Alice Hoffman's unbelievable talent always leaves me humbled.
Jan Priddy
This is an early Hoffman that I had never read before. (If it had been my first, I would not have read most everything she has written since.) The magic is there, even when it misfires.

There is considerable evidence of the excellent writer Hoffman will become—the magic realism, the gorgeous language, but so many, so dear, so strong, so sharp, so beautiful . . . so many phrases beginning with "so" that I found myself counting them. One SO on most pages, some pages with two or even three. The con
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, audiobook
Not my favorite Hoffman, but still a decent listen as an audiobook.
May 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Lizzie by: I brought it upon myself, and have no one else to blame.
Shelves: 2010, reviewed
Hoffman is a master at portraying the raw humanity of her characters. It's that portrayal of those raw emotions that we all feel - but could never explain - that makes her such a popular author. We can relate to her characters because of this, even though outwardly we have nothing in common with them. As Practical Magic was my first Hoffman novel, the bar was raised fairly high for the rest of her books. Fortune's Daughter doesn't even come close. It's not a stretch for me to say that it was a d ...more
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"You don't understand," Lila said. The worst thing in the world for a mother is to leave her child. She couldn't bring herself to remember you, because if she did she'd have to leave you behind." (page 106)

"Out in the rain, Lila pulled her bathrobe tighter around herself. Somehow, she had become forty-six years old, and she didn't know quite how it had happened. She wondered if there was something about California that made the time move so quickly. Without winter to shock you into another year
Alyssa Marie
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
*Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.*

I love Alice Hoffman books! This one definitely brought a story and characters to life in a beautiful way. This is a story full of heartbreak , sadness, and loss, but somehow still full of magic, hope, and joy at times. Fortune's Daughter tells the story of two different women, Rae and Lila. Rae is pregnant with her first child, is unmarried and ended up very far away from home. She left home as a teenager with her boyfriend Jessup a
Cindy Nestberg
Just ok. I usually LOVE alice Hoffman's books, but this one. I HATED the women! They were are so dumb, and spineless, and just passive. I mean, why not talk to the men? or other people? and the way the one woman treated her husband who loved her. And then she realizes her child she gave up for adoption had died, when she had this happy ever after story in her head,and she couldn't accept it. ugh!!
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The dichotomy of this book simply compels you to read it. While the story is mostly mundane, selfish boyfriend, friendless pregnant girlfriend, befriends a fortune teller with a secret past, develops severe depression, etc., the writing is so incredibly beautiful, magical even. While not really caring about the story, I simply wanted to experience the reading of it. Now that I've completed the book, I'm sorry it's over.
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Having discovered Alice Hoffman sometime in the early 2000s I didn't realize she had books dating back to 1985 which this does, and I daresay this is among my favorites. The earlier Hoffman fiction is among the most magical and this doesn't disappoint. These characters are each so solitary and yet connected in a way that weaves an intriguing story of heartbreak, regret, redemption, and love. I could hardly put it down.
Mary Ann
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ooooh, this is one of Alice's best; she was writing magical realism before anyone knew what it was. I've been reading and re-reading her wonderful stories for years and years and have found only one to be a stinker-Here On Earth.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and I will look for other books by this author. The story is unique, the characters are fascinating - they don't always do what you'd like them to do. Renee and Michelle - you'd both enjoy it.
FORTUNE'S DAUGHTER was my first Alice Hoffman novel, and I don't think it was the best choice to start with. (I blame myself, since I picked it, and not the friend I borrowed the book from.) This nostalgic, romance-laden story follows two women - Rae, a secretary grappling with her first pregnancy and her unreliable boyfriend, and Lila, a fortune teller who was forced to give up her baby girl for adoption - whose lives become irrevocably entwined when Rae asks Lila to read her tea leaves.

It's p
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Two women's lives collide. Rae followed her boyfriend to California. After he leaves her, she discovers she is pregnant. The only person she can confide in is a psychic. She does not know that the psychic, Lila, has forged a similar path. She does not want Rae to look to her for help, as it opens up wounds in her past that have never entirely healed.

Do you like flawed protagonists? Lila as a protagonist is as flawed as they come. In her efforts to flee the pain of her past, she causes a lot of
Kristen Morales
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I love Hoffman, but halfway through the book I was completely over it. It was a struggle to get through the rest of the book. Her writing style is beautiful, but I found myself getting irritated with it towards the end - “It’s hot outside in February, we get it...”

I was equally annoyed with both of the main characters. I think I would have been much happier if through some strange twist of fate, Rae had ended up being Lila’s daughter. But no. Lila treated her loving husband of 20+ years like ga
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alice Hoffman is extraordinary. Everything she writes is touched with magic but not overwritten. That's a tough balancing act, especially in books for adults. This one is about the intersection of lives: a young woman who finds herself pregnant by her awful longtime boyfriend, and an older woman married to a prince of a fellow who doesn't know she is haunted by the baby she gave up for adoption while still a teenager. They are drawn together by the rootlessness of life as transplants to SoCal, b ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors. She writes in a distinctive, literary style that creates a thought provoking experience for most of her books I have read. They can be magical and mystical. Sadly, some have not made the grade for me. But her stories hold such promise I am always ready to pick up another.
Dayna Cramer
Jun 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martina Muller
Much too far fetched;....

I did not enjoy this book - it dealt too much with people’s neuroses and far fetched dreams to allow me any beautiful escape from my busy days and having to live in a country run by a moron... only redeeming feature is Alice Hoffman ‘s powerful prose.
Ayelet Margolin
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ethereal storytelling

I enjoyed reading this book. While it took a bit to get into the narrative, I found myself pulled in by the emotion and deeply reflective storytelling. It was much less predictable than I thought, and the plot kept me guessing.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I like her writing, but I disliked every single main character in this book. Why do they all have to be so unlikable? I mean Richard and his father, I liked, but they weren't in it much.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
What happened???
Donna Schultz
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hoffman never disappoins.
Linda K.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. I am an Alice Hoffman fan. This one is not up to the standards I expect of Alice Hoffman.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ive really become a fan of Hoffman this year. Another solid story!
Patricia Eichenlaub
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another charming book by Alice Hoffman
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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...
“She begged for time to stop, for clocks to break, for every star to remain fixed. But none of that happened.” 0 likes
“She never used a cookbook again—after all, there was no point in cooking for someone who couldn’t tell the difference between a gâteau au chocolat and a defrosted Sara Lee cake.” 0 likes
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