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Seventh Heaven (2003)

Seventh Heaven (2003)

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3.8 of 5 Votes: 3
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0425188485 (ISBN13: 9780425188484)

About book Seventh Heaven (2003)

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 Long Island community shows no signs of change as the 1950s draw to a close—until the fateful August morning when Nora Silk arrives.Suburbia. Late 1950's America. The house, the husband, the 2.2 kids, the car, the image, the reputation, the gossip. This is Hemlock Street. Nora Silk moves in to an empty run down house on Hemlock Street and is immediately an outcast, she doesn't fit the image that the other women set as the standard. She wears different clothes, feeds her kids bowls of Frosties for dinner, makes snow angels in her garden, dances with her baby boy for all to see. The women don't like her and won't let her in, some of the men and the boys on the other hand can't get enough of seeing her.The book takes us behind the doors of these seemingly perfect neighbours, for us to find that things are not as they are presented to the world. Marriage difficulties, wayward teenagers, petty crime, deception, lies, betrayal, boredom are just some of the things that REALLY go on behind perfectly painted doors and manicured gardens.We are introduced throughout the book to many characters on the street, too many in my opinion, I was really getting lost with so many, terribly difficult to connect to them all and some of it just got rather pointless. I just wasn't interested in a lot of the mundane moments of their lives, it wasn't even written in a way that makes the mundane seem fabulous. It was just boring in places. There are some great moments in this book, some story lines that I wish were expanded upon, but there are many drawn out chapters and paragraphs of bland American surburban life and people. Was that the point? I don't know, but it's not terribly interesting. There is no depth to this at all. But still, those tiny moments of brilliance gleaming amongst the sludge. Best analogy I can think of. A slow paced book from start to finish, essentially with a few gems hidden amongst the words, some characters that stand out, the rest blurring into a list of names and no faces. A conflicting book for me, I really was thinking it was going to be a stunning read at the start but by the end I was just wanting it over and done with. Not memorable in the slightest. Maybe the fans will love it. I couldn't. I tried. 2.5 stars rounded up to 3 stars from me. A very okay read that did not live up to my expectations after hearing much about this author. I will try another of her books and see if things improve.I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks for the opportunity.

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 in one chubby cute hand. When they move onto the street where the norm is two parents, two children, and nothing unexpected, Nora Silk is ostracized, Billy is bullied, and it seems that the status quo will always regain its balance.But the men start to notice Nora's distinct grace with more than a bit of lust, and Nora's comments and advice to the women start to break cracks in the veneer of "we should do what we have always done." Sparks fly, a trace of magic is in the air, and before long, 1959 is going to roll over into the sixties, and Nora Silk's influence will be felt by all.I adored this book - much as I adored the previously mentioned Hoffman titles I listed above - and had that trademarked Hoffman lump in my throat when the book was drawing to a close. As always, it's the characters - and the level of empathy you feel for all of them - that keep you going, and Hoffman's deft touch with a trace of the supernatural always leaves you charmed. A ghost here, a clairvoyant there, and a tangled thread of folk remedies throughout, there's something magical in how she writes, and how the reader feels while watching her worlds.

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This book is the what the "Abstinence Teacher" might have been if Tom Perotta was a good writer or alternately, if he liked any of the characters in the book besides the one based on him. . . Mean. I'm cranky. . . but I hated that book and loved this one so well. I should read more Alice Hoffman. Her books are so simple and sad and sweet and a little magical. She sometimes gets weirdly lumped into the margins of fantasy, because events in her books are often just a little off kilter. But she should probably just be counted as part of the magical realism tradition. The magic that happens is just life or our hyperbolic reaction to it. It's good stuff.I highly recommend this here book for the readin's.

Read all my reviews on 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 me the creeps, to be honest. Or, perhaps it was the suburbia, I can't really tell. The story moves around a lot to the different persons living in Hemlock street, all with their own problems. Some were more interesting to read than others though. The overall story was quite interesting but a bit weird at times. I understand that Nora is very different from the other people in the street, but would she really influence them all so much? I don't know. I might try some other books by Alice Hoffman in the future.Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

Seventh Heaven is Alice Hoffman¡¯s 9th stand-alone novel and tells the story of when attractive divorcee Nora Silk came to live in Hemlock Street, Long Island with 8 year-old Billy and baby James. Set in the late ¡®50s, it captures the dispiriting feeling of suburbia. As a divorced woman, Nora found her presence posed a threat and prevented her from being part of the community. The story is told from several different characters¡¯ perspectives. Hoffman gives us beautiful prose and evocative descriptions that bring the reader right into the moment, even if it is occasionally not such a pleasant one. When Hoffman writes, the reader feels all the anxiety, fear, frustration, joy, sorrow and wonder that her characters feel. I really enjoyed the incongruity of a brilliant butterfly like Nora selling Tupperware to the oppressed moths of suburbia. I loved this novel.

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