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Seventh Heaven

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  6,895 ratings  ·  483 reviews
Nora Silk doesn’t really fit in on Hemlock Street, where every house looks the same. She's divorced. She wears a charm bracelet and high heels and red toreador pants. And the way she raises her kids is a scandal. But as time passes, the neighbors start having second thoughts about Nora. The women’s apprehension evolves into admiration. The men’s lust evolves into awe. The ...more
Paperback, Reprint, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Penguin (first published 1990)
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Rachel I think Billy lost his clairvoyance because he didn't need it anymore; he gained the ability to interact socially and more outwardly with others, and…moreI think Billy lost his clairvoyance because he didn't need it anymore; he gained the ability to interact socially and more outwardly with others, and since he had found his clairvoyance burdensome, he was able to leave it behind.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,895 ratings  ·  483 reviews


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Rachel
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was ok
Alice Hoffman being one of my favorite authors was the main reason for me to pick up this book. I must say that it is one of my least favorites of her catatlog.

The story starts out interesting, slating the story in a small town during a time in America when women are supposed to stay in the kitchen and raise the children.

When the character Nora Silk is introduced, she is the antithesis of the other female characters. She dresses in black, wears pants and hoop earings and makeup. The whole point
...more
Susan's Reviews
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Keep in mind that this book is set in 1959.) When newly divorced Nora moves to Hemlock Street, her neighbours view her with suspicion. This was one of my favourite Alice Hoffman reads. I loved her magical, quirky storytelling.
There were some interesting "blasts from the past" in this story. Nora becomes a Tupperware saleswoman - and this is how she expects to pay her mortgage and support her family!?! Tupperware must have been very expensive back in the day! To this day, this is the one element
...more
Paige P
4.5 stars

While on vacation, I picked this up at a help yourself book shelf next to the pool. The book was yellowed and musty, but I have always enjoyed Alice Hoffman's writing. Once I read the first paragraph, I was hooked and pretty much read non stop until I was finished. How did I miss this little gem by Alice Hoffman.

The story begins in 1959 in a middle class, suburban neighborhood. A divorcée with 2 children moves into a neighborhood where people can hardly utter the word "divorced" withou
...more
Nathan Burgoine
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is another fantastic book from the author of 'Practical Magic,' 'Blue Diary,' and 'The Probable Future.' Nora Silk is not the typical woman of 1959 Long Island. She's divorced, has two children, and never seems to care if they get dirty while they play. She wears high heels and black stretch pants, and her nails are always done in bright colours. Her eldest son, Billy, tends to pick stray thoughts out of the minds of people around him, and James, only months-old, eats anything he can find i ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
My first taste of Alice Hoffman's writing and for me, this book at least was mediocre in both content and enjoyment factor. At the start of the book I felt it was going really well and I was looking forward to more of the same but the book kind of derails and gets overcrowded with too many characters that you don't really care about or connect with and a really weak plot.

On Hemlock Street, the houses are identical, the lawns tidy, and the families traditional. A perfect slice of suburbia, this L
...more
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witches, beloved
1991, January 1
2016, January 5

In the 25 years since I first read this, I confess I'd gotten a little vague on the details. Long Island suburban witch, I recalled correctly, but the two boys had become two girls in my mind, probably conflated with the movie Mermaids. I thought there was a lot more magic. And oddly, 25 years ago I didn't notice that Hoffman used "witch" as a sort of substitute for "slut": not in the shaming sense of promiscuous, but in the vague way that any young woman with auton
...more
Ann-Marie
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Classic Alice Hoffman. Read it slowly and savor it.
Holly
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Holly by: my mom
My favorite Alice Hoffman, this book uses its setting and characters very effectively to show how the looks of the American dream can be deceiving. When the main character moves to 1960s suburban American, her very presence makes life less perfect and yet somehow more real for the other people who live there. Like most Hoffman, this includes elements of magical realism, including a ghost who haunts not her killer, but his brother, and a mother who uses old spells to keep her child save at school ...more
Anna
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An entirely satisfying story from a master storyteller. Like many authors Alice Hoffman details the minutiae of her characters' lives, but unlike most she does it for good reason: things connect. Details weave together & become much more than the sum of their parts.

Seventh Heaven is set on Long Island in 1959/1960, in a 6 year old housing development near the Southern State. It was written long before Mad Men was born or thought of, but fans of Mad Men should love this story, though it is m
...more
Frank
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
I don't read novels like this one very often but I should probably do so! Alice Hoffman was recommended to me and I happened upon this book at a local thrift store. It was very enjoyable -- being a slice of life from 1959 to 1960, an era that I lived through as a young boy. The novel reminded me a lot of Rabbit Run by John Updike or of Peyton Place, one of my favorites. It definitely does not show the idyllic life of the 50s as portrayed in such TV shows as Leave It to Beaver or Father Knows Bes ...more
Kelly
Oct 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I really love Alice Hoffman; she tells a good story. This is my third read by her, after Here on Earth and Turtle Moon. Seventh Heaven is a slice-of-life story set on a suburban street in 1959-1960. The houses are practically identical, and life, from the outside, looks idealic. Then Nora Silk moves into one of the houses, and things begin to change. Nora is a single mother (divorced) of two little boys, which was an anomaly in the 50's. She isn't exactly welcomed with open arms, though some of ...more
Dana
Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it
In the late 1950s in suburban America, women stayed at home and tended their children and husbands. Brand new houses were built all the same in a cookie-cutter fashion. When Nora Silk moves into one of these neighbourhoods and she has no visible husband and dresses provocatively, she is looked upon with suspicion and ignored. But what happens is the street is turned upside down.

Other families on the street include: the McCarthys, boys, Ace and Jackie, and their patient father dubbed "the saint"
...more
Shorty
Not as good as I was hoping for, but still interesting. Hillary Huber narrated the audiobook. 3 stars.
Tundra
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars. At first this seems like a happy suburban drama. A neat recently finished street with houses full of wholesome civic minded families in 1960 USA. Slowly it reveals itself as we glimpse behind the doors and into the daily lives of these families. It’s a dark place of prejudice, domestic violence and jealousy where even those who appear happy are not.
Alice Hoffman is great at describing daily life with a forensic eye for the details that create an emotional response in the reader. Whi
...more
Lori
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"Seventh Heaven" takes place in 1959 and 1960, on a single street in a new neighborhood on Long Island. The families who live there differ economically and culturally but they share values and are more alike than not. The women want nothing more than to make casseroles and pies, raise their children, look after their husband's clothes and clean house. Their kids hang out together. The husbands expect good meals, well-behaved children and in their free time to mow their lawns and take care of the ...more
Marjolein
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

Seventh Heaven is far from a seventh heaven. In late 1950s' suburban America it's all important that whatever you do, you do not stand out. People living in houses that all look the same, acting the same. When Nora Silk moves in, a recently divorced mother-of-two she's looked upon with the greatest possible suspicion. And slowly the rest of the street learns that her difference is not necessarily a bad thing.

The 1950s in this book gave
...more
Karen
Nov 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I was put off by the title Seventh Heaven, it reminded me too much of the TV series and I automatically labeled the book as cheesy and saccharin. Pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong about that, but can't say that I loved the story either.

Nora Silk, divorced with two small children, moves to the suburbs of the late 50's, with stay at home moms, tidy homes and meatloaf dinners and the neighborhood and its residents start to erode from there. The novel blurb is a little misleading, Nora a
...more
bookczuk
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Dark and sad, and a little heartbreaking. Not what I usually feel when reading an Alice Hoffman novel.
Tressa
Alice Hoffman is a fantastic writer. I have read many of her books and have been left in awe at the end of many of them; some had me feeling an uneasy melancholy or had me outright sobbing. Seventh Heaven is probably one of my least favorite books of hers. The characterization is excellent as always, and the plot set in the 1950s about an unconventional woman who moves into the suburbs is promising, but the story and characters just never really gelled for me. But I will always pick up a Hoffman ...more
Mae
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
In 1960 Nora Silk moves into a "fixer upper" in a suburban neighborhood where everyone appears to be living the perfect life - she is not bringing perfection with her. However we soon learn that perfection is only an illusion from the outside looking in - Alice Hoffman is a joy to read and she always takes one on an interesting journey.
Ann
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for a holiday weekend, the houses on Hemlock Street all look alike in this 1950's neighborhood, but the families within are not all the same and neither is the world evolving around them as the 1960's dawn. Full of character insight and tinged with a bit of the wonderful magic Alice Hoffman brings to stories.
Cdhutson
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Alice Hoffman is one of my go to authors and she wove a story that will make you realize that when every thing looks perfect on the outside you don't know what is going on inside. It is a coming of age story also. The characters (children and adults) change and grow through out the book and at the end you feel like you know each one personally.
Cynthia Toohey
Alice Hoffman is an incredibly gifted storyteller, and while I enjoyed this book while I was reading it, I don't think it will be particularly memorable. Perhaps it's too similar to some of her other novels. 1959. Nora Silk, an unconventional divorcee and mother of two, moves to a Long Island subdivision where all the homes look the same. While she tries to fit in, her neighbors begin to discover themselves. Of course, there's a little magic going on....its Alice Hoffman, after all.
Rick
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emotional and real. One of the best books I've read this year.
Smoran8m
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book gets an extra star because the setting is a Long Island suburb in the late sixties, just like the little suburb I grew up in.

This book loses a star because it was almost something better. There was a little "practical magic" feeling, but too many pieces of it never went anywhere. It seemed more like a first/early novel. I know Hoffman could do better and I grade on a curve.

Adriane
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the story line but did have trouble with keeping up with all the characters.
Vicki
Nov 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book had me rolling my eyes. Not sure what else to say other than don’t waste your time.
R.K. Cowles
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
3 3/4 stars
Lbball27
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Whenever he stumbled into Nora's arms, she would think it wasn't possible for her to love him any more than she did; she loved him so much that she discovered that her hands and feet had grown a little larger to make room inside her for all that she felt and because of this she had to go out and buy new boots and gloves and have her high heels stretched by the shoemaker up on the Turnpike." What a lovely description from Ms. Hoffman of mother love! loved this book!
Martha Reynolds
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

The title (of this review) refers to the first episode of “Mad Men,” because I was so reminded of the series as I began reading this book. Alice Hoffman’s detailed descriptions are so spot on, and her well-drawn, complex characters pull you right into their not-so-orderly lives. Brilliant book.
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500 Great Books B...: Seventh Heaven - Alice Hoffman 1 9 Jul 13, 2014 08:41PM  

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10,925 followers
Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We Knew, 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. Her most recent novel is The World That We Knew. She lives near Boston.