The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
Published by Shaye Areheart Books, a division of Random House
Rating: 4.5 stars
The Story Sisters opens with three sisters who are the closest of friends, and then as time goes on, their common bond begins to unravel. The book spans many years and we follow the girls from teenagers to grown adults and witness love, heartache, despair and hope. With the inclusion of magical and mystical elements weaved in throughout the novel, this family saga makes for an engaging and certainly unconventional reading experience.
I think Alice Hoffman has succeeded in writing another wonderful story with its own unique mystical undertones, that can inspire both awe and even a little fear. This story is by no means a horror, however certain parts are pretty creepy and somewhat disturbing. The plot fluctuates from warm and heartfelt to dark and sinister, but the majority of the book seems to slant towards oldest daughter, Elv, who appears to be haunted by her own demons and is constantly engaging in self-destructive behavior. There is so much more to say about the other characters as well but I think it's best to read about them without any pre-conceived notions and to judge for yourself.
Despite the melancholy feel that the book tends to elicit, there is an overall message of hope and triumph that takes shape as the book nears its end. Many tragedies have taken place, certainly more than any typical family, but each character attempts to find peace with themselves, even if it takes years to do so.
Though it sometimes feels like there is too much taking place and the plot gets a little chaotic, that is also what makes the book so intriguing. From the first chapter, I was pulled into the world of the Story sisters and was engaged and ultimately moved by them and their tale.
Alice Hoffman is a magnificent writer and I think both fans and newcomers will enjoy this latest novel.
BIG THANKS to Jessica and Random House of Canada for my review copy