Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Story Sisters” as Want to Read:
The Story Sisters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Story Sisters

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  13,780 ratings  ·  1,875 reviews
The Story Sisters charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and sta ...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Story Sisters, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
cameron I beg to differ. I think profound messages will be sent to teenagers about the worst bad choices in using drugs. I would be pleased if a teenager…moreI beg to differ. I think profound messages will be sent to teenagers about the worst bad choices in using drugs. I would be pleased if a teenager actually had the ability to appreciate this book. Drug use attractive? My God, it killed and ruined the life and loves of two characters.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,780 ratings  ·  1,875 reviews

More filters
Sort order
The Story Sisters is about three sisters Elv 15 Meg 14 & Claire 12 & the challenges each one has to face evil, loss & happiness they have a mother Annie & their Grandmother Natalia (Ama) help them guide through their lives. Despite all the trauma & loss in their lives they have their grandmother Natalia who is always watching over them, she is like a second mother loves her granddaughters no matter what.

The Girls communicate by a secret language Arnish which not even their mo
Michele Harrod
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
There really needs to be a 6th star for Alice Hoffman. When I see that there is a new novel out, I get butterflies in my stomach in antipation of the joy that is about to be held in my hands. Before I turn the cover, I am like a child again on Xmas morning - just before the household wakes, and it is time for presents to be opened. I cancel life, and settle in for my journey. My breath shortens as I read, and my heart swells amidst the beauty of her words and the love that she paints - sometimes ...more
Jaline - (on 2/3 hiatus)
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2018-completed
This emotional and affecting family saga is Alice Hoffman at her best. Moving back and forth between New York and Paris, it tells the story of the Story family. Although Annie and Alan Story have three lovely daughters, when they divorce, Alan is more interested in pursuing his new life than he is being a father to his daughters.

The three girls, Elisabeth (Elv), Meg, and Claire are very close and share all their secrets, hopes, and dreams. When Elv is 11, Meg is 10, and Claire is 8, Elv and Clai
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This satisfied my craving to experience Hoffman’s special voice in a pure form and her brand of magical realism in a context that really works, that of the experience of children.

In every fairy tale there were always three sisters: the eldest was brave, the middle one was trustworthy, and the youngest had the biggest heart of all.

Elv is the oldest, Meg in the middle, and Claire the youngest, living on Long Island with divorced mother Annie. She spends a lot of time at night in moon light atop t
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
In my humble opinion, Alice Hoffman has either degenerated or I have outgrown her. This book read like a Danielle Steels novel---all incredible extremes.

This girl is the most beautiful girl in the world; men commit suicide over her when she is a teen. Everyone adores her, yet she cares for no one except her little sister. She becomes more and more withdrawn, sitting in a tree outside her window; running off in the night barefooted to get involved in drugs and drinking and sex, because she suffe
This "Story" is about the lives of three young girls, Elv 15, Meg 14, and Claire 12, and the challenges, evil, sorrow and, yes, even happiness at times that they encounter throughout their lives with their loving mother Annie and grandmother Natalia (Ama). Despite all of the trauma and losses, grandmother Ama is always there and never gives up on the sisters even from far away Paris. All of the characters (and animals) were so well described and developed. Pete and Annie's relationship was parti ...more
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I ran into Alice Hoffman by accident. This is kinda my thing... lately I've been running into many, until then unknown to me, authors that quickly become part of my favourites list... in a blink of an eye, I would say, or perhaps at the turn of a page, if you prefer.

There's one word that perfectly describes Alice Hoffman's books (even though I haven't read all of them... yet): enchanting. Her words lure you to a private little world... and you fall in love with it, not being able to put it down,
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
A most disappointing Hoffman read. Multiple (too many)plot lines and dysfunctional family members. I can’t even begin to tell you about all the characters lives and problems that were at the heart of the book. It’s really not worth it.

Every once in a while the storyline jacked up with interest, as if it received an IV infusion; only to be let down again.

Of all the books I’ve read by this author, this one’s gotta be close to the bottom of the pile.

I personally would not recommend this one at a
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Alice Hoffman doesn't just write about magical reality, she performs it. I had no idea, really, what to expect when I picked this up (other than lovely prose and captivating characters, of course) since no one else I know has read it yet. What happened was like being grabbed by the throat and yanked into the Story sisters' world. Each Alice Hoffman book has me greedily reading as if starved for words and language, and when I am through, I usually feel wistful, but sated. With this book, the banq ...more
Aug 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I saw the following review and it was exactly how I'd describe the book myself. So I thought I'd share it here with my friends: My experience reading this book was somewhat surreal. In the beginning, it was a bit like a train wreck or a car accident - ghastly and grim, yet I couldn't look away. It was nothing like I expected, not at all what I wanted, and yet I found myself incapable of just returning it, unread, to the library. I continued on, reading the unfolding horrors and drama, told in th ...more
B the BookAddict
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction

When I first read this back in 2009, I gave this 4★ but this time round, with it's second reading it only gets a 3★: maybe I've just grown up a little in my reading. Even so, Hoffman does write delicious prose and will continue to be my 'guilty pleasure' author.
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
“The Story Sisters” is a grim tale. This family of three very close sisters, their divorced mother, and their maternal grandmother, can’t catch a break. One bad thing happens after another; child rape, illness, accidents, deaths, self harm, alcoholism, drugs, self isolation and an almost total lack of communication shatters the family.

And yet there are traces of magic, both good and bad. Demons attach themselves to young girls. Cakes make one tell only the truth. Some of the characters find hap
Feb 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Alice Hoffman is an author known for her novels filled with magical touches. Her latest, The Story Sisters, continues that, when a magical world created by three sisters collides with the reality of the world in which we all exist.

Elizabeth, called Elv, Meg and Claire Story live with their mother in a small town on Long Island. Their parents are in the middle of a bad divorce, and it has affected the girls deeply. When they were young children, Elv (whose nickname connotes the fairy-like elves)
Nov 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
I just can't keep reading this book. Thank you to those of you who have given me the courage to quit! It has been sitting next to my bed for weeks. Awhile ago I kept skimming ahead to see what happens but I am not compelled to read it. It's just not for me.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, disliked, dnf
I tried. I really did. Made it to page 30. I tried skimming ahead but that didn't help. Couldn't bring myself to continue. Talk about a bleak and dark novel. The writing was very different. Was it supposed to be like a fairy tale? A very depressing fairy tale? Totally not my kind of book. (Also, there was also a horrible incident with a horse that is going to take me a long time to get over...)
Joe Valdez
Aug 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
This was my introduction to Alice Hoffman, an author selected by the Oprah Book Club (her bio on the dust jacket says so). It wasn't the Hoffman title I wanted to start with -- The Dovekeepers intrigued me more -- but it was one my library had in stock.

I lasted 10 pages.

The Story Sisters has to do with three beautiful sisters (Hoffman mentions how beautiful they are repeatedly) aged 15, 14 and 12. Their favorite things are Paris, the Plaza Hotel and listening to the oldest sister spin tales of m
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
This was a rather strange book - it was dark, mysterious and also enchanting as well as being a very difficult book to describe! The way that it is written is detailed and beautiful - I really do think that the writing style should be commended. Especially in the sections situated in Paris, I soaked up the atmosphere and felt as though I was there. The subjects that are faced in this book are pretty 'sinister' (Abuse, mental issues, drugs) and the book does seem dark, but not at all horrifying - ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit, library
Full of plot stereotypes
Nothing original at all
Relegated to chick lit status
Dawn Kurtagich
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an enthralling, epic read, reminiscent of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander. Powerful, heartbreaking stuff.
Sep 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
4.5 or a 5-THis is difficult book to review. Let's start that I was on vacation, I started the book at 8am after a walk and read until my husband was done working at noon, then read and finished it by 11 pm at night- it would not let go. After finishing it, while my husband slept,I could not stop thinking about the characters- Even though I would class this as a fable or allegory or fantastical even , the characters seemed real to me.Not just the 3 girls but even the mom and grandma and Pete, bu ...more
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, but from the beginning I was forcing myself to read it. I have liked other books by Hoffman, but this book just lacked her usual touch of magic that I have always enjoyed.
The magical element that was in the book was a story of a made up world that the Story Sisters created called Arnelle. At first, all of the sisters were likable, but as Elv delves into a world that is more bleak, the story became darker. It does portray a family in crisis and how one person c
Wake up. Look around. See the people around you, really see. Look past the material, past the false bravado and painted smile, move beyond what you've superimposed on them, and truly see the being existing in the space next to you. Remember that your reality is not theirs. More often than not, we have a tendency to slip our insecurities onto others tongues like Eucharist and afterwards are consumed by emptiness and disgrace...and it was all our own doing, the other person never really had a chan ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-on-kindle
Gotta love Alice Hoffman - this is a writer who had me at "the Dovekeepers" and hasn't let me go. I really liked this story of three sisters growing up - their relationships with each other as well as their Mother and Grandmother.

Their father leaves at one point and he is pretty much non-existent in their lives for most of the book. The eldest sister has had a very traumatic experience when she was 11 and only the youngest sister knows about it. This secret almost destroys both of their lives an
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
I have officially just stayed up all night long to finish the remaining 3/4 of The Story Sisters, something I have done infrequently in my life. I have to get up and go to work in another two hours, but I won't be able to sleep, so what do I care?

Like another favorite female author of mine--Anne Tyler--Alice Hoffman knows how to spin a story about the mundane parts of our lives, but also the magical moments. Characters are introduced on a whim or chance meeting, and they may serve as an anchor i
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am somewhat at a loss for words to describe the beauty of this story! I didn't want it to end. I didn't want to talk to my son who is away at college so I could listen to this story. I just want to listen-read this a million times over. It's sad and beautiful and awful and delicious! There is divorce, drug addiction, recovery, gardens, cancer, death, Paris, art, inner growth and a wedding. There is so much more emotion than I can describe. It's my new favorite book. Thank you Alice Hoffman for ...more
Meneesha Govender
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
This has to be one of |the most haunting, |heart-breaking books I've |read this year.

Elv, Meg and Claire live with their mother on Long Island. They're beautiful, mysterious, intriguing and envied by all their peers.

They also have their own form of communication - something that appears harmless and endearing at first, but turns out the |be the source of their eventual undoing.

It is this secret world that the sisters inhabit that has you questioning throughout the beginning of the novel whether
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sisterhood of the...: May 2014: The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman 2 17 May 06, 2014 06:37PM  
Magic Realism: Alice Hoffman 9 81 Nov 21, 2012 09:55AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Rapture
  • Riverside Blues
  • If Jack's in Love
  • Bitterroot Landing
  • Julia Gillian And the Quest for Joy
  • 28 Days Later, Vol. 6: Homecoming
  • The Map of True Places
  • Redwood and Wildfire
  • Centuries of June
  • Lies in the Dust: A Tale of Remorse from the Salem Witch Trials
  • The Witch of Belladonna Bay
  • Secret Keeper
  • Alien Next Door
  • Of Bees and Mist
  • The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
  • The Cats of Roxville Station
  • Someday This Will Be Funny
  • Eternal on the Water
See similar books…
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.
“When I walk, I walk with you. Where I go, you're with me always.” 342 likes
“Sometimes words drew blood, they cut your tongue, they made you know things you couldn't unknow. ” 89 likes
More quotes…