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[PDF / Epub] ☉ The Marriage of Opposites By Alice Hoffman – Bogou.us

The Marriage of Opposites From The New York Times Bestselling Author Of The Dovekeepers And The Museum Of Extraordinary Things A Forbidden Love Story Set On The Tropical Island Of St Thomas About The Extraordinary Woman Who Gave Birth To Painter Camille Pissarro The Father Of ImpressionismGrowing Up On Idyllic St Thomas In The Early S, Rachel Dreams Of Life In Faraway Paris Rachel S Mother, A Pillar Of Their Small Refugee Community Of Jews Who Escaped The Inquisition, Has Never Forgiven Her Daughter For Being A Difficult Girl Who Refuses To Live By The Rules Growing Up, Rachel S Salvation Is Their Maid Adelle S Belief In Her Strengths, And Her Deep, Life Long Friendship With Jestine, Adelle S Daughter But Rachel S Life Is Not Her Own She Is Married Off To A Widower With Three Children To Save Her Father S Business When Her Husband Dies Suddenly And His Handsome, Much Younger Nephew, Fr Derick, Arrives From France To Settle The Estate, Rachel Seizes Her Own Life Story, Beginning A Defiant, Passionate Love Affair That Sparks A Scandal That Affects All Of Her Family, Including Her Favorite Son, Who Will Become One Of The Greatest Artists Of FranceBuilding On The Triumphs Of The Dovekeepers And The Museum Of Extraordinary Things, Set In A World Of Almost Unimaginable Beauty, The Marriage Of Opposites Showcases The Beloved, Bestselling Alice Hoffman At The Height Of Her Considerable Powers Once Forgotten To History, The Marriage Of Rachel And Fr Derick Is A Story That Is As Unforgettable As It Is Remarkable

[PDF / Epub] ☉ The Marriage of Opposites  By Alice Hoffman – Bogou.us
  • Hardcover
  • 371 pages
  • The Marriage of Opposites
  • Alice Hoffman
  • English
  • 05 October 2018
  • 1451693591

    10 thoughts on “[PDF / Epub] ☉ The Marriage of Opposites By Alice Hoffman – Bogou.us


  1. says:

    I thought the Dovekeepers was absolutely a fantastic book..Yet For some reasonI thought The Marriage of Opposites , was going to be a muchstraight forward simple story, one that was even familiar to me Simple. Sweet historical love story I was wrong nothing was simple There was love but I was reminded How complicated love can be It s been a very long time since I ve cried bawling after completing a book I literally set my Kindle down, closed it and cried I thought the Dovekeepers was absolutely a fantastic book..Yet For some reasonI thought The Marriage of Opposites , was going to be a muchstraight forward simple story, one that was even familiar to me Simple. Sweet historical love story I was wrong nothing was simple There was love but I was reminded How complicated love can be It s been a very long time since I ve cried bawling after completing a book I literally set my Kindle down, closed it and cried and cried Later, my husband came home and he was kind to sit with me for about an hour while I shared to him the story as I tried to understand my own tears. because I really don t think most people will cry at all I absolutely love Alice Hoffman,andShe really is a master storyteller I think Hoffman is becoming my new hero Boy I sure wish I could meet her I m really speechless still in tears I m not sure if it s because I m Jewish or not But what I was crying to is my own Jewish History This story was not about thousands of Jews being killed, it was not a war story yet in some ways this story was just as painful to me as if it were When mothers are too critical of their sons and daughters, many other people suffer and many generations continue to suffer I felt sad that rules we re often too constricting for characters in this novel It s strange, but I also felt sad when rules were not kept, because I understood the pain it was also When religions become tribal.people are going to get hurt Rachel is a dominant character in the story, and even when she was being unreasonable, being mean, critical to her son the famous painter , often like her mother was to her..I could still feel, and see, that she loved her son deeply Her pride blocked her own expression of love I ll never forget this story I just wish that in 2015 we might learn something in some wayslife does not look much different today than it did in the 1800 s Other than most of us do not have 11 children lolBeautiful powerful difference making novel for me Thank you with all my heart to the publisher Netgalley and Alice Hoffman for the opportunity to read and share my thoughts about this book


  2. says:

    No doubt about it, Hoffman is a talented author She s got a unique style and her stories are always so diverse This one is no different It is lavishly lyrical in spirits, visions and superstitions She spins a story that is culturally rich with texture and history It takes place in St Thomas in the late 1800 s and is split into 3 stories Rachel, Jacobo and Lyddie I adored Rachel s story her 1st marriage, arranged to a man significantly older, determined her life and what it spanned to b No doubt about it, Hoffman is a talented author She s got a unique style and her stories are always so diverse This one is no different It is lavishly lyrical in spirits, visions and superstitions She spins a story that is culturally rich with texture and history It takes place in St Thomas in the late 1800 s and is split into 3 stories Rachel, Jacobo and Lyddie I adored Rachel s story her 1st marriage, arranged to a man significantly older, determined her life and what it spanned to be Jacobo and Lyddie s story, although interesting, is where my interest started to wain Rachel s story was fascinating and I grew attached to the character Then the story shifted and she was no longer the protagonist I felt disconnected and a little frustrated as the story left me demanding to knowof Rachel s feelings and experiences The rest of the novel just felt contrived and too long or maybe I just felt it wasn t where I wanted it to be Overall I rate it a 3.5


  3. says:

    Reading The Marriage of Opposites really made me think..The Rules of Magic is my favorite Alice Hoffman book, but have I found a new favorite Oh yes, it is my new favorite as I adored this book One of the things I love about Hoffman s books is that each one is so different Yes, she has a running theme in many of her books and this one was no different.the color red, red haired women, birds, and of course, love no magical realism in here, but not missed But the stories she weaves are Reading The Marriage of Opposites really made me think..The Rules of Magic is my favorite Alice Hoffman book, but have I found a new favorite Oh yes, it is my new favorite as I adored this book One of the things I love about Hoffman s books is that each one is so different Yes, she has a running theme in many of her books and this one was no different.the color red, red haired women, birds, and of course, love no magical realism in here, but not missed But the stories she weaves are so unique and varied but utterly captivating.The Marriage of Opposites is the story of Rachel Pissarro, growing up on the island of St Thomas in the early 1800 s I enjoy visiting St Thomas and seeing the land though I mpartial to Tortola right across the water via ferry I enjoyed hearing of the lush lands, the foods, and the people from so long ago Rachel was a strong young woman who spoke her mind and did what she wanted Naturally, this ruffled many feathers in her community and within the Jewish families Rachel was married to her fathers business partner to help save the business, and so her epic life began The story moves back and forth between St Thomas and Paris, France where Rachel has longed to visit There are many rules of marriage and that of opposites is forbidden But that does not stop Rachel Eventually when her husband dies, she marries his nephew who is sent to the island to take over the business And so begins the love affair that last many years to come Though they are shunned due to this forbidden marriage But Rachel does not care She gives birth to many children, but one in particular is focused on That is Camille Pissarro, the the Father of Impressionism One of the wonderful things of this book is that it s part true story, and part fiction Camille was a real person, a very well known painter in France, and his mother was Rachel, who gave birth to many children Hoffman weaves this true tale but adding indetails of their lives This is quite the family saga drawn over many years and many people.I listened to the audio version of this which added to the beauty of this book The narrators were wonderful, switching between the voice of Rachel, Camille, and a narrator telling this amazing story If you can t tell by now, I loved this book I m so glad that I finally read it and will tell any Hoffman fan to pick this one up I just need to figure out which Hoffman book to follow up with now I think that is a tall order to fill


  4. says:

    WARNING MY REVIEW CONTAINS PLENTY OF SPOILERS The Marriage of Opposites op po site p z t noun plural noun oppositesa person or thing that is totally different from or the reverse of someone or something else. My father had told me that no matter how comfortable we might feel, we must live like fish, unattached to any land Wherever there was water, we would survive Some fish could stay in the mud for months, even years, and when at last there was a high flooding tide, they would swim away, a WARNING MY REVIEW CONTAINS PLENTY OF SPOILERS The Marriage of Opposites op po site p z t noun plural noun oppositesa person or thing that is totally different from or the reverse of someone or something else. My father had told me that no matter how comfortable we might feel, we must live like fish, unattached to any land Wherever there was water, we would survive Some fish could stay in the mud for months, even years, and when at last there was a high flooding tide, they would swim away, a dark flash, remembered only by their own kind So perhaps the stories they told of our people were true no net could hold us Rachel Pomie At its very best historical fiction manages not only to sketch an accurate picture of the past, it also provides the reader with a sense of its characters s worldviews, their values and traditions, and the general sensibilities that hopefully reflect the true essence and spirit of the era.The Marriage of Opposites is based on the true life of Rachel Pomie Petit Pizzarro, who was born in the island of St Thomas in 1795 She is better known as the mother of Camille Pissarro, a renowned painter that would become one of the fathers of the French Impressionism movement.Alice Hoffman uses four narrative voices in the book, the first few chapters are told from Rachel s perspectives Later chapters are told from the perspective of Rachel s second husband, her son, and her best friend s daughter.Rachel s grandparents had long ago fled France who, after living in St Domingue what is now Haiti in the island of Hispaniola , ended up moving to St Thomas, an island that by virtue of an edict proclaimed by the King of Denmark in 1754 allowed Jews to become citizens and to freely practice their religion.St Thomas and Paris during the 1800 s, the geographical settings of this novel, couldn t have beendifferent The very natural but rudimentary beauty of the New World is juxtaposed against thepolished, sophisticated culture of the Old This is the first one of many opposite narratives that are part of the stories told in this vivid, enchanted novel.Most of the relationships are depicted within a frame of contrasts people that come from different cultures, religions, races and social statuses Free man slaves, mothers sons, men women, husband and wives.Even since the times of colonization, The Caribbean islands have represented the blending of two major cultures, Africa Europe Perhapsthan in any other place in the Americas, this region is a product of its history and its geography.Initially colonized by the Dutch, St Thomas which is now part of the US Virgin Islands, was later on conquered by the Danish The island s economy became dependent on sugar plantations which in turn relied on slave labor and the slave trade A Colonial Map of Saint ThomasOne of the many topics explored in The Marriage of Opposites is the complicated relationship between the island s European settlers and the descendants of African slaves With its multicultural, multilingual population, Charlotte Amalie, the capital of St Thomas, must have sounded like a small scale version of Babel French was the language spoken by most citizens, but many also spoke English, Spanish and Portuguese.By 1796, a small Sephardic Jewish community had settled in the island Fleeing Spain and Portugal from religious persecution, they set roots and prospered in this tiny island nation They also founded the Beracha Veshalom Vegmiluth Hasidim, a synagogue that is considered to this day, the oldest continuous use synagogue on American territory.Freedom, andspecifically freedom of religion, is another complex issue that is examined on this novel By the early 19th century, the indigenous people of the Caribbean had long ago been eradicated at the hands of the European conquistadors But now, in addition to the slaves of African descent that lived in the island, the Jews are another group of people that have come fleeing persecution and who themselves had been slaves earlier in their history The Beracha Veshalom Hasadim Synagogue in St ThomasI thought The Marriage of Opposites was a wonderful work of historic storytelling, but the novel also incorporates captivating fairy tales, fables and allegories There are stories of talking parrots, a turtle girl who ishalf human, with a human face and soul, an apple tree that seems to live forever and a synagoguemade of stone, molasses and sandThis last one apparently not so much a myth but a real combination of ingredients used by Sephardic Jews to hold bricks together, the sand floors were used to muffle the sound of prayer.Alice Hoffman crosses the lines between reality and the supernatural so flawlessly that at times is difficult to determine what parts of the story are intended to read as magic and what parts are presented as purely symbolic.There seems to be a very small amount of known facts about the life of the real Rachel Pomie, but the author uses her fantastic imagination to recreate her as a strong willed, sharp tongued, passionate woman who refuses to abide by the racial or gender conventions of her times I absolutely loved Rachel s deep sense of individuality and her resolution to create her own destiny Like many islanders, Rachel both loves her surroundings and feels trapped by them She buries herself in her father s library, reading voraciously and memorizing maps of Paris, the city she dreams will one day become her permanent home.As an only child she finds in Jestine, the daughter of the Pomie s cook, Adelle, a sisterly connection that will last throughout their lifetimes.Rachel and Jestine spent endless hours leisurely exploring the island and dreaming of one day going to Paris together.But their plans are quickly derailed after Rachel s father arranges for her to marriage Isaac, a 44 years widow and the father of three small children The purpose of their union is to help with the family s struggling business Rachel doesn t love her husband, but she adores his children, and she and Isaac have fourtogether When Isaac suddenly dies, Rachel finds herself without a home or livelihood and with 7 children to provide for and another one in the way.At a time when women didn t have any rights, not even over their own children, she s not allowed to run the family business even though she is perfectly capable of doing so.Enter Frederick Pizzarro, Isaac s handsome much younger nephew, who has come to settle the family s estate When the 22 year old Pizzarro goes to meet his uncle s widow, he s expecting to find an old lady, instead he catches sight of Rachel Pomie, only 30, in her white shift.He felt hewas seeing a secret, a vision granted only to a few He could feel his desire as she glances at him The things he wished to do to this woman, he could not have brought himself to say aloudThis would definitely not be a marriage of convenience Frederick is a fair minded, diligent young man who is as smitten by the beauty of the island as he is by Rachel s passion for life and indomitable spirit Shortly after the meet, Frederick and Rachel begin a passionate affair that sparks a scandal within their tight knit Jewish community Because Rachel is technically Frederick s aunt by marriage, their relationship is consider to be incestuous in nature.The romance between Frederick and Rachel is one for the ages, but they will paid a high price for it they are shunned for years by their community, denied the right to get marry and their younger sons are forced to attend a Christian school where they are the only Caucasian and Jewish children.It s purely through sheer determination that Rachel and Frederick would get married They d have to wait for almost a decade before their congregation recognizes the legitimacy of their marriage and the 4 children they had together Pissarro Flowering Plum Tree Eragny 1894 The novels also follows the parallel story of Jestine who at a very young age experienced her own story of forbidden love She falls madly in love with Aaron, the Pomie s spoiled adopted son, but their interracial romance is also frown upon by their society so after it s discovered, Aaron is sent to live in France.Justine soon learns she is pregnant, this daughter would be stolen from her when Aaron s wife learns she is unable to bear children.The third one of Frederick and Rachel s children was Jacob Abraham Camille Pizzarro.The second half of the novel, which I found much less interesting, is mostly told from Camille s point of view It follows him throughout his life as he travels to Europe and South America, returns to St Thomas only to be extremely miserable there, and ultimately goes back to France where he becomes a prominent figure within the art circles of the times Pissarro Two Women Chatting by the Sea, St Thomas 1856 Pissarro, who lost his first name and changed the spelling of his last name after permanently settling in France, would become friends with Cezanne and have an important influence on the likes of Gauguin, Renoir Vincent Van Gogh Camille Pissarro and his wife, Julie Vellay, 1877, Pontoise, FranceRachel and Camille s relationship is difficult, and one that seemed to fit into the opposites narrative of the novel As a man, Camille is able to achieve many of the goals that Rachel is denied to pursue.Rachel tries to control his son and at least initially, does her best to discourage his intention to develop his artistic talents And just like it happened between Rachel and her own mother, the two of them clashed so frequently not because they are so different but because they are so similar As a young girl, Rachel used to collect and create stories about the island and write them down She would hid these notebooks from her judgmental mother knowing she d probably disapproved Years later, when dealing with her own children, she finds herself adopting a similar attitude, completely oblivious to the irony that now she s the unyielding mother, set on her ways to enforce rules she once considered stifling and arbitrary.There seems to be a rule that dictates that every new generation is destined to inflict the same restrictions on their children that were once imposed on them Quite frequently those children suffer from these often misguided, if well intentioned, protections But inevitably, they will turn their backs on their parents s mandates, build their own destinies, and become their own storytellers.I learned a lot while reading this novel, starting with getting to know Camille Pissarro, a amazing artist I hadn t heard of before The novel s exploration on the topics of religious intolerance, racism and, of course, sexism sounds eerily familiar and as relevant today as ever.The Marriage of Opposites is a beautifully love story, one that I would highly recommend


  5. says:

    A work of historical fiction written by Alice Hoffman was all I needed to know and I was immediately interested in reading this book I loved the Dovekeepers and while they are very different stories , Hoffman s lyrical writing and story telling had me fully engaged in this family saga I have to admit that I did not know much at all about the artist , Camille Pissaro, and certainly nothing about his mother or his early life in St Thomas or later in Paris I couldn t help but love Rachel , wh A work of historical fiction written by Alice Hoffman was all I needed to know and I was immediately interested in reading this book I loved the Dovekeepers and while they are very different stories , Hoffman s lyrical writing and story telling had me fully engaged in this family saga I have to admit that I did not know much at all about the artist , Camille Pissaro, and certainly nothing about his mother or his early life in St Thomas or later in Paris I couldn t help but love Rachel , who defies the conventions of what a young Jewish girl in the early 1800 s should be doing by loving the books in her father s library and writing stories Her family settled in St Thomas as a result of the religious persecution of the Inquisition While the later part of the book focuses on her artist son , the story belongs to the independent and headstrong Rachel but we also see in Camille the same traits.In addition to the skillful way that Hoffman develops the character of Rachel , she has also drawn a whole cast of characters from Rachel s mother and father to the boy that her family adopts to her best friend Jestine whose mother is a servant in their home to Rachel s husbands There are a number of characters whose lives are connected and there are a few secrets that are divulged towards the end of the story revealing things about them that we did not know earlier in the book and some things that they did not know that changed their fates.In addition to these interesting characters , there are spirits, and an herbal healer and a woman who foresees the future None of this overtook the reality of the multiple love stories ,all beautiful and some heartbreaking , the reality of the religious and racial issues Then there is the gorgeous descriptions of St, Thomas that allow you to almost see the blue of the ocean and smell the flowers.Hoffman tells us that she has kept close to the facts of Rachel Pizzaro s life, but that the characters outside of her family , friends and neighbors are her invention All I can say is that she has skillfully woven these characters into the real story making for a story that held me from beginning to end in spite of a being a little slow moving at times Thus 4 instead of 5 stars , but highly recommended.Thanks to Simon and Shuster and Edelweiss


  6. says:

    Reading about a place I have been is always special Of course, I wasn t in St Thomas in the mid nineteenth century but some of the plant life and wildlife remains the same Hoffman and her new passion for writing about historical characters takes on the mother and her son, Camille, many thought to be the father of impressionism She also seems to gravitate to strong women and Rachel certainly was that andHer ability to bring to life characters, time and place, as well as her descriptive Reading about a place I have been is always special Of course, I wasn t in St Thomas in the mid nineteenth century but some of the plant life and wildlife remains the same Hoffman and her new passion for writing about historical characters takes on the mother and her son, Camille, many thought to be the father of impressionism She also seems to gravitate to strong women and Rachel certainly was that andHer ability to bring to life characters, time and place, as well as her descriptive power to bring the colors and sounds of St Thomas to the forefront allow the reader to immerse themselves in the story. Also realtes the political force and the hatred of Jews that led them to St Thomas Here they would form their own society, a society that would for some portion of her life, condemn Rachel and her growing family as well as her new husband.Loved the character of Rachel, she was amazing A woman out of time who defied many in her quest to be true to herself At one point Camille goes to Paris and I loved that part of the story as well Rachel s best friend, a negro who she was raised with, Justeen, has her own remarkable tale to tell She becomes a second mother to Camille As a seamstress she understand his desire for colors, beautiful colors and muted colors, any colors at all It is too a story about the relationship between a mother and son.There is some magical realism in this story, as well as much folklore Some wonderful secondary characters each with their own backstory Having read Hoffman for years I love her new foray into historical happenings, but I miss her stories of whimsy Would like to see her write another of those Still a wonderful, if a tad long, story.ARC from NetGalley


  7. says:

    This family saga about the life of Camille Pissarro s mother evokes a great sense of place for the West Indies island of St Thomas as a site of intersection of race, culture, class, and religion in the early 19th century In the tradition of the line of Hoffman novels I have sampled so far, she excels here in storytelling and character development It is unusual for her to focus on breathing life into historical figures, achieved with much imagination based on skeletal facts provided in the aft This family saga about the life of Camille Pissarro s mother evokes a great sense of place for the West Indies island of St Thomas as a site of intersection of race, culture, class, and religion in the early 19th century In the tradition of the line of Hoffman novels I have sampled so far, she excels here in storytelling and character development It is unusual for her to focus on breathing life into historical figures, achieved with much imagination based on skeletal facts provided in the afterward Hoffman imagines the wonders and challenges of Rachel Pomie s childhood in a loving family of Jewish shopkeepers, well connected to the rich tropical environment and to a community formed of many cultures A Danish colony at the time, the island was a haven for diversity after the king at the end of the 18th century abolished slave trading and established religious freedoms Hence, the immigration of her parents from Santo Domingo where her grandparents had moved from France Rachel gets the benefit of cohesion or the Jewish community, but pushes at the boundaries of their constraining traditions as well as broad social norms about the roles of women and the privileges associated with class and race For example, she forms lifelong close friendship with a black girl, Jestine, and soaks up much of her love of nature and spiritual perspectives She sneaks out at night with her to marvel in the annual landing of sea turtles for egglaying and learns from her many folktales and herbal remedies She learns enough arithmetic and reading to help out with managing her father s store She dreams of going to Paris and is envious that an adoptive brother, Aaron, is sent there when he inappropriately falls for Jestine.Rachel s childhood ends abruptly with an arranged marriage to an older French Jewish widower with three children She soldiers on in this loveless, but respectful, marriage, and together produce threechildren before he dies and leaves her at 29 years old to struggle with managing a large family and business in tough economic straits These events are largely a backdrop to the main story of this novel, her relationship with the 22 year old nephew of her dead husband sent from Paris by the family to direct the business, Frederic Pissarro spelled from the Portuguese as Pizzarro Women were not allowed to inherit property, so there is much resentment to overcome at first Hoffman renders a wonderful love story out of their chemistry and the path it leads them to defy Jewish laws forbidding marriage between an aunt and nephew regardless of absence of blood relations Because of their banishment from the synagogue, they have to sustain a long period of cultural and social isolation.As another consequence, the son they produce, Jacobo Camille, does not attend Hebrew school, but instead goes to a Protestant school for people of color run by Moravian missionaries from Denmark No one knows where artistic genius comes from, but the portrait of Camille s early life makes a great attempt to account for the roots and influences on his visionary talents, appreciation of colors and natural forms, and respect for common people and diverse cultures A big core of his heritage lies in the personality of Rachel herself, and like Rachel did with her own mother, he defies her plans for his life, which in his case includes taking over the family business and pursue art His ability to listen with empathy ends up with people sharing dark secrets with him and thereby allows him to heal major relationship breaches that oppress the lives of his parents and, later, that of his mother s friend Jestine The story has a lovely ending, one which involves Rachel getting to experience the beginning of Camille s success in his artistic career in Paris It was satisfying to see Hoffman pulls all the threads of this novel into such a fine tapestry of life.The book was provided by the publisher as an e book through the Netgalley program and expected to be published in August I wish I could have quoted some of my favorite lyrical passages and rich metaphors in Hoffman s prose, but the publisher requests reviewers not to do so due to the potential editorial changes


  8. says:

    One of A Hoffman s best writingswhich deals with the history of a mother who could not handle her daughter s stubbornness and insight to learn everything about live and the love she had for her father..this wasof a period piece era storyline that the author wrote telling us the readers about what took place back in those days like the 1800s..while her educated daughter was forced to marry this older man twice her age,who himself already had a wife polygamy..an incredible well written s One of A Hoffman s best writingswhich deals with the history of a mother who could not handle her daughter s stubbornness and insight to learn everything about live and the love she had for her father..this wasof a period piece era storyline that the author wrote telling us the readers about what took place back in those days like the 1800s..while her educated daughter was forced to marry this older man twice her age,who himself already had a wife polygamy..an incredible well written story as seen in the eyes of today s world society.


  9. says:

    4.5 StarsI ve been approved twice for early copies of Alice Hoffman s books and both times I nearly did cartwheels around my house I am a fairly new fan of Hoffman s but what I have read swept me away into new dimensions I honestly lose my bearings once I open the pages of her books it s as if a gentle hand lifts from the pages and guides me into a new and magical world The Marriage of Opposites was no exception Although it took me a chapter to really get a feel for where the book was taki 4.5 StarsI ve been approved twice for early copies of Alice Hoffman s books and both times I nearly did cartwheels around my house I am a fairly new fan of Hoffman s but what I have read swept me away into new dimensions I honestly lose my bearings once I open the pages of her books it s as if a gentle hand lifts from the pages and guides me into a new and magical world The Marriage of Opposites was no exception Although it took me a chapter to really get a feel for where the book was taking me, it most definitely didn t disappoint I will say that there was less of a magical theme, or less than normal, but the storylines were so engaging that I was mesmerized just the same.There were various timelines all linear and the story shifted points of view depending on the character but everything revolved around a woman, Rachel Pomi Petit Pizzarro , and those closest to her The stories took place primarily in St Thomas and Paris Hoffman was successful in turning the atmosphere in St Thomas to one that was vibrant and magical and I could even smell the salt from the water and hear the water lapping over the sand Once in Paris it was as though my bones felt cold just reading about the brutal winters.What impressed me most was how the characters were so developed that Hoffman didn t skip even the smallest nuances in their personalities as life and experiences slowly molded each personality and left them far from generalized.I tend to write less what the book is about in my reviews andof my experience as I don t like to give too much away, but I will say that I highly recommend this book.I would like to thank NetGalley, Simon Schuster, and the author for an advanced copy for an honest review


  10. says:

    4.5 This is a completely biased and prejudicial review from an avowed Alice Hoffman fan.She describes purple air smelling of hyacinths , a blue eyed woman whose soul was as quiet as snow , and a dress made from dyes of heron and midnight blues, with pale lilac so flowerlike that bees rumbled nearby then sewn from threads spun in China, carried overland through the desert on the backs of camels and then sailed across the ocean from Portugal And how is it that I have never seen a Camille Pis 4.5 This is a completely biased and prejudicial review from an avowed Alice Hoffman fan.She describes purple air smelling of hyacinths , a blue eyed woman whose soul was as quiet as snow , and a dress made from dyes of heron and midnight blues, with pale lilac so flowerlike that bees rumbled nearby then sewn from threads spun in China, carried overland through the desert on the backs of camels and then sailed across the ocean from Portugal And how is it that I have never seen a Camille Pissarro painting A man she described as the father figure of impressionism and mentor to Monet and Degas I had to stop early in the book and look at his paintings, then towards the end I watched a slideshow of over 800 of them I am going to drink some wine and watch the slideshow again If I had not already read most of her books I would have thought her prose was inspired by his work It probably was but the fact is she has always painted with her words I get lost in them Truly, I travel somewhere else when I get into one of her books Sighs have escaped me when I finish the final chapters This is fiction based on facts and mostly about the life, loves, and dreams of his mother Rachel Enlightening, imaginative, interesting, and yes, magical

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