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Everything My Mother Taught Me

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  11,840 ratings  ·  896 reviews
In this haunting short story of loyalty and betrayal, a young woman in early 1900s Massachusetts discovers that in navigating her treacherous coming-of-age, she must find her voice first.

For fatefully observant Adeline, growing up carries an ominous warning from her adulterous mother: don’t say a word. Adeline vows to never speak again. But that’s not her only secret. Afte
ebook, 28 pages
Published December 19th 2019 by Amazon Original Stories
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Msdoone Florence, as much as we may enjoy books, life's challenges can present higher priorities that keep us from the joy of reading.

I won't share the endin…more
Florence, as much as we may enjoy books, life's challenges can present higher priorities that keep us from the joy of reading.

I won't share the ending here because that might spoil it for other readers but if you send me a PM I will try to answer your questions.

Best Wishes!(less)
Molly Walker According to Amazon, "Alice Hoffman’s Everything My Mother Taught Me is part of Inheritance, a collection of five stories about secrets, unspoken desi…moreAccording to Amazon, "Alice Hoffman’s Everything My Mother Taught Me is part of Inheritance, a collection of five stories about secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones." Each short story stands alone and are written by different authors. I believe the series is exclusive to Amazon/Kindle. (less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  11,840 ratings  ·  896 reviews

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Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Alice Hoffman has just gained a fan with this story of twelve year old Adeline, who loves her kind, compassionate father with all her heart. Adeline's despises her cheating mother and after Adeline's beloved father dies, she and her mother go live on an island so her mom can work as a servant for the lighthouse keepers' families and Adeline can tend to the the children of the families.

From the time Adeline's father died, she's chosen to not speak. She loves life on the island and finds a true f
Angela M
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I immediately loved twelve year Adeline and was broken hearted for her from the first sentence. “There are those who insist that mothers are born with love for their children and place them before all other things, including their own needs and desires. This was not the case with us.” This is a short and beautifully written story about a young girl in the early 1900’s New England trying to find her way in a world given what she knows. A self imposed mute, since her beloved father died, Adeline i ...more
Everything my Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman is a 2019 Amazon original collections story- Inheritance Collection #1

First, I would like to thank all my Goodreads friends for recommending this story to me. A special shout out to Angela M., whose heartfelt review of this short story first caught my attention.

As noted by many reviewers before me, this is a poignant story, featuring twelve-year-old Adeline, who is at the mercy of her abusive, selfish, and neglectful mother. After her father dies,
A brilliant and atmospheric short story from Alice Hoffman, about a young girl who is little more than an encumbrance to her mother, Nora Ivie. Adeline, named after a soap, adores her father, once a sailor, but then a cobbler until he becomes seriously ill. After his death, she chooses to not talk, taking delight in thwarting her mother. Her mother becomes a housekeeper on a lighthouse on the Essex County Thacer Island. Despite expecting to hate it, Adeline grows to love it, getting close to the ...more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good, engrossing short story about a young twelve-year-old girl named Adeline (who is mute by choice after her father dies) and her terrible, selfish mother (who becomes a housekeeper at the lighthouse on Thacher Island). The book takes place in 1908 on the sometimes very cold, wintry island. The story had great atmosphere, interesting characters (I especially liked kind Julia) and a satisfactory ending.

This book is part of Amazon's "Inheritance Collection" series.
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
This short story is just under 30 pages long but carries a strong message. In simple terms I think it basically comes down to “the love you give is the love you get back”. There are so many mother-daughter books out there and being the mother of four, sometimes I feel somewhat under attack. This book, however, gets it all right.

Adeline Ivy adored her father, he gave her so much love and attention. Her mother, Nora, would rather spend her time down the street at the local tavern, loving all of th
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything My Mother Taught Me (Inheritance Collection #1) is a poignant story of a mother’s relationship with her daughter, husband, and neighbours. Some women should never be married, some women should never have children, meet Nora Ivie, mother to Adeline. Only a mother that is so narcissistic and devoid of caring for her daughter, could furnish so little love and personal development with her child.

While Nora openly cheated on Adeline’s father, he remained devoted to his family r
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my second read by Ms Hoffman, and she has definitely become the author I will follow.
This short story had all my attention and engagement as a reader. The premise, a rocky island off Massachusetts, with its tragic history and two lighthouses, provides perfect background for the plot, set in the beginning of the 20th century, which introduces us to a young girl, Adeline, who decides to become mute after her mother's remark. The mother-daughter bond is non-existent and the little girl has
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
More than a tale about mother and daughter, this short story dives into questions of nature vs. nurture. Having grown up with shameless and unethical mother, the main character, 12 year old Adeline, comes to face the reality of her inheritance: an inheritance of genetics. Revenge falls into her hands, and Adeline must then confront her own principles.

The story begins shortly after Adeline's caring father passes away. She is left under the care of her nefarious mother, who continues a pattern of
Elyse  Walters
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The year was 1908 when Adeline’s father died. She was 12.
She and her mother, Nora Ivie, left their home in Boston -forty miles away, to live on island in Essex County... at the tip of Cape Ann. Thacher Island - a remote and desolate place - was named after Anthony Thacher where there had been many shipwrecks, in 1635.

What happens on this island....doesn’t stay on the island...

This is my very favorite short story - of ‘ALL GREAT’ stories by very talented authors....
part of the Amazon 5 book Inh
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Alice Hoffman has done it again!!!! In 28 pages she has written a gripping tale about loyalty, betrayal, love, secrets, friendship, and what drives one to silence. Twelve-year-old Adeline hasn't spoken since her father's death, but she sees all and finds a way to communicate without saying a word.

I won’t say more about the plot as the short story is only twenty-eight pages, but in those twenty-eight pages, Hoffman gives her characters distinct personalities, struggles, desires, and pain. Wonder
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5 rounded up.

Back when I was in school there was a girl named Karen who wouldn't talk. It wasn't that she couldn't—she could, but she just wouldn't. As kids we would try to get her to talk, like it was a game of who-could-get-Karen-to-talk-first and she would just smile at us. It was big news when a girl claimed she'd seen Karen talking to someone outside of school. We knew that she did talk when she wasn't attending school but we just couldn't figure out why she didn't talk to us.

Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Alice Hoffman is a great author and here she’s written an amazing story in just 28 pages!
I’ll remember 12 yr old Adeline.
This was a heart wrenching and atmospheric story. Just read it!
Available December 19th

Thank you to Netgalley and Amazon Original Stories!
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2019
For me, to date, Alice Hoffman's novels have been a bit hit or miss, but she sure can write a short story! 'Everything my Mother Taught Me' is short but perfect and leaves the reader wanting more.

The main character is Adeline, a twelve year old girl who has the misfortune to have a mother who loves no one but herself. Fortunately Adeline is smart and strong and she has a way of solving problems. The setting is a New England light house, beautifully described and very appropriate for the events w
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is the first short story I’ve received from netgalley. I’m not a fan of short stories, but I’ll read anything by Alice Hoffman. The story has an almost fairy tale quality to it. Hoffman’s stories often contain a bit of magic realism. This one is pure historic fiction, but maybe because of the setting and an evil mother, I still felt the fairy tale atmosphere.

The story takes place in 1907. Adeline’s mother is a total narcissist. After the death of her husband, she’s forced to take a job as a
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-story
A nice short story from Alice Hoffman which is well written and gets the readers attention from the very beginning.

Inheritance is a collection of five stories about secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single setting and Everything my mother taught me is my first story of the collection.

I listened to this one on audible and at 50 minutes it really is quite short. The narration was good and it passed an hour for me
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Everything My Mother Taught Me is now the fourth short story I have read to the in the Amazon Original Short Stories Inheritance Collection. It is my favourite one so far. Each has given me so much to think about and now, after reading four of them, I am starting to see the beauty here is that each has something different you can take from it and really think about. Now at only 28 pages, you have to do a little bit of work here but I am in awe with how little needs to be said to provoke such dep ...more
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

Narcissists make lousy mothers.  A little girl chooses silence over speech after a devastating loss.  Alice Hoffman is a magician, turning a mere 28 pages into a meaningful full-bodied story.
There are givers in this world and then there are the takers.

In her brief twelve years, Adeline has had a front row seat in observing which category her mother falls into. Nora Ivie would take the last drop of milk from a newborn if it would suit her purpose.

But it is Adeline's father, the dreamer, who holds her heart. He's given up the sea as a sailor for the love of Nora Ivie. A love that is never quite returned even at his early death.

It's 1908 and with few options for a young widow and her
“She was the sort of person who saw only herself and her shadow, and the rest of us disappeared in the bright sunlight.”

Adeline begins her story in 1908, when her mother is widowed and finds work on an island with a lighthouse tended by two families. It is a decided step down for a woman who fancies herself the centre of attention.

“My mother’s name was Nora Ivie, and mine was Adeline. I had been named after a soap she’d once seen in a fancy shop, Adeline Lilac Soap, made in Paris. My mother s
Diane S ☔
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Never knew Hoffman wrote short stories, but I thought this one was well done. Plus, always a draw for me, it was partially set in a lighthouse, though not too detailed a setting. Liked the premise, liked the execution and enjoyed the ending. Gives credence to the adage, revenge is sweet, or maybe, revenge is a dish better served cold. Both could apply.

ARC from Netgalley.

Its been way too long since my last Alice Hoffman novel, and although this is a shortie, it is so full of substance.

Circa 1900's New England.

A now mute young twelve year old Adeline had such a wonderful loving father, but now only has her wretched floozy of a mother as they move to an old lighthouse where mother dear now works....and plays....and keeps secrets.

But even in her silence, Adeline is a smart little readers will see.

Sign me up to comple

Andy Marr
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this a great deal better than I did. I loved the 12-year-old Adeline, and the other characters were well drawn, but the change of setting from Boston to the lighthouse and back to Boston again was too jarring for such a short story. I really think it would have worked better had it been set in a single location, with more time given to the story itself.
Susanne  Strong
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4 Stars

Adeline is twelve years old and all alone in this world. She lost a father whom she loved with all of her might and is little lost herself. Her mother, ignores her day in day out and Adeline has no hope of ever having a relationship with her. Cold and uncaring, her mother’s only concerns are her own. Obtaining a housekeeping job at an old Lighthouse, her mother makes Adeline leave the life she one knew for the unknown.

Never uttering a word again, Adeline, sees and hears more than anyone e
What a good writer Alice Hoffman is! It's really impressive that she has managed to convey so much in this 28 page short story of a young girl, ill treated and unloved by her adulterous mother in early 1900s Massachusetts. Her characters are fully formed with the tensions and drama between them clearly outlined and the young girl's thoughts and actions informing the narrative so well. Set in a small community of lighthouse keepers and their families on an island, it's very atmospheric with the s ...more

This short story by Alice Hoffman is part of a collection of five short stories by different authors under the title of Inheritance, and if the other four are as good as this one, it will prove to be worth your time to check them all out.

In twenty-eight pages, Hoffman shares an unforgettable story of a young woman living in the early 1900s with her parents in Boston whose life changes dramatically the year she turned twelve. First, her father becomes ill, and her mother is f
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A captivating novella, Everything My Mother Taught Me more than made up for the early am wake up call. From the beginning, I was pulled into the emotional world of 12 year old Adeline who has recently lost a much beloved father and is left struggling with her mother's own rules of morality. Now living on a lighthouse keeper's island Adeline is frustrated with her mother's actions and a series of events take place which show the widening distance between mother and daughter.

There are those that
Lori Lamothe
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adore Alice Hoffman. And though I love her novels, it's her story collections I find myself pulling off the shelf to reread. Like the stories in Blackbird House and The Red Garden, “Everything My Mother Taught Me” takes place in remote New England. With its twin lighthouses, luminous snowdrifts and acres of rocks, Thacher Island in the early 1900s is just as brutally beautiful as the locations in those two books. I can say the same for the story, which centers on the relationship between 12-ye ...more
Don’t let the title fool you…

The title was a turn-off, as I assumed this short story would be a mom and daughter chummy-chummy love fest. 1, I’ve had enough of those Hallmark-y stories, and 2, I can’t relate. But boy was I wrong. This is a story about a nice girl with a bad mom. Mom and 12-year-old Adeline (named after a bar of soap) live on an isolated island off Massachusetts in the early 1900s. The story seemed like it could be set in any time period; not sure why it was the old days.

I’m not
Everything My Mother Taught Me was different from what I expected, as it's about a bad mother, someone who had had a child too young and was too selfish to care about anyone.

Edeline, the narrator of this short story, is twelve and grieving her father's death. Her unfaithful mother has to take a job as a cleaner in a lighthouse complex off the tip of Cape Ann, Massachusets.
Only three families live there, Edeline, who's become a selective mute, most helps with chores and looks after the children.
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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.

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“She had told me often enough to keep my mouth shut, and now I did exactly that. I abolished all language on the day of my father’s funeral.” 1 likes
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