Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman

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With “incantatory prose” that “sweeps over the reader like a dream,” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Hoffman follows her celebrated bestseller The Probable Future, with an evocative work that traces the lives of the various occupants of an old Massachusetts house over a span of two hundred years.

In a rare and gorgeous departure, beloved novelist Alice Hoffman weaves a web of tales, all set in Blackbird House. This small farm on the outer reaches of Cape Cod is a place that is as bewitching and alive as the characters we meet: Violet, a brilliant girl who is in love with books and with a man destined to betray her; Lysander Wynn, attacked by a halibut as big as a horse, certain that his life is ruined until a boarder wearing red boots
arrives to change everything; Maya Cooper, who does not understand the true meaning of the love between her mother and father until it is nearly too late. From the time of the British occupation of Massachusetts to our own modern world, family after family’s lives are inexorably changed, not only by the people they love but by the lives they lead inside Blackbird House.

These interconnected narratives are as intelligent as they are haunting, as luminous as they are unusual. Inside Blackbird House more than a dozen men and women learn how love transforms us and how it is the one lasting element in our lives. The past both dissipates and remains contained inside the rooms of Blackbird House, where there are terrible secrets, inspired beauty, and, above all else, a spirit of coming home.

From the writer Time has said tells "truths powerful enough to break a reader’s heart” comes a glorious travelogue through time and fate, through loss and love and survival. Welcome to Blackbird House.

About Alice Hoffman

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Alice Hoffman is the author of fifteen novels: Blue Diary (2001), The River King (2000), Local Girls (1999), Here On Earth (1997), Practical Magic (1995), Second Nature (1994), Turtle Moon (1992), Seventh Heaven (1990), At Risk (1988), Illumination Night (1987), Fortune's Daughter (1985), White Horses (1982), Angel Landing (1980), The Drowning Season (1979), and Property Of (1977). She is also the author of three children's books: Aquamarine (2001), Horsefly (2000), and Fireflies (1997). Born in New York City, and raised on Long Island, Hoffman graduated from Adelphi University and received an M.A. from Stanford University, where she was Mirrielees Fellow. She currently lives near Boston with her family and her dogs.
Published July 20, 2004 by Doubleday. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Blackbird House

The Guardian

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That unexpectedly tasty Yankee turnip now plays an important role in Alice Hoffman's Blackbird House, 12 intricately connected stories set in a farmhouse on the tip of Cape Cod that trace the history of the farm's inhabitants over 200 years of American storms and tragedies, and celebrate the stre...

Aug 14 2004 | Read Full Review of Blackbird House

Book Reporter

Every tale in this wonderful collection of short stories by author Alice Hoffman have one thing in common: they all take place in the fictitious Blackbird House on Cape Cod.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Blackbird House

Entertainment Weekly

Families from 3,000 centuries -- or perhaps it's just three and feels like so many more -- populate Blackbird House, Hoffman's turgid collection of interwoven short stories set on a Cape Cod farm.

Jul 23 2004 | Read Full Review of Blackbird House

SF Site

Alice Hoffman Website ISFDB Bibliography In Cape Cod, there is a small farm compassing a small house, called Blackbird House.

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The Best Reviews

Alice Hoffman has adapted the mythology of the blackbirds as prophets, spell-casters and messengers of the gods into another heartbreaking dimension in her book of short essays: "Blackbird House".

Jul 20 2004 | Read Full Review of Blackbird House


A white blackbird sighted through the decades becomes a symbol of loss for a colonial-era boy drowned at sea, a bookish farm girl impregnated and abandoned by a Harvard professor in the late 19th century and a teenager brimming with resentment toward her self-absorbed hippie parents.

Jul 26 2004 | Read Full Review of Blackbird House

Bookmarks Magazine

Sharan McBride Rocky Mountain News 1.5 of 5 Stars "Several of Hoffman’s stories … are about as deep as a puddle.

Oct 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Blackbird House

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