Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman

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In Alice Hoffman's skillful hands, "Seventh Heaven" is not only entertaining--it gives one new respect for tender suburban dreams.
-LA Times


A New York Times bestseller about a 1950s suburb transformed by the arrival of a divorced mother: “part American Graffiti, part early Updike” (The New York Times).

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.  

Recently divorced, Nora mows the lawn in slingback pumps and climbs her roof in the middle of the night to clean the gutters. She works three jobs, and when her casseroles don’t turn out, she feeds her two boys—eight-year-old Billy and his baby brother, James—Frosted Flakes for supper. She wears black stretch pants instead of Bermuda shorts, owns twenty-three shades of nail polish, and sings along to Elvis like a schoolgirl.  

Though Nora is eager to fit in on Hemlock Street, her effect on the neighbors is anything but normal. The wives distrust her, the husbands desire her, and the children think she’s a witch. But through Nora’s eyes, the neighborhood appears far from perfect. Behind every neatly trimmed hedge and freshly painted shutter is a family struggling to solve its own unique mysteries. Inspired by Nora, the residents of Hemlock Street finally unlock the secrets that will transform their lives forever.  

A tale of extraordinary discoveries, Seventh Heaven is an ode to a single mother’s heroic journey and a celebration of the courage it takes to change.  

About Alice Hoffman

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Alice Hoffman, an American novelist and screenwriter, was born in New York City on March 16, 1952. She earned a B.A. from Adelphi University in 1973 and an M.A. in creative writing from Stanford University in 1975 before publishing her first novel, Property Of, in 1977. Known for blending realism and fantasy in her fiction, she often creates richly detailed characters who live on society's margins and places them in extraordinary situations as she did with At Risk, her 1988 novel about the AIDS crisis. Her other works include The Drowning Season, Seventh Heaven, The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, The Ice Queen, and The Dovekeepers. Her book, The Third Angel, won the 2008 New England Booksellers' Award for fiction. Two of her novels, Practical Magic and Aquamarine, were made into films. She has also written numerous screenplays, including adaptations of her own novels and the original screenplay, Independence Day.
Published September 23, 2014 by Open Road Media. 276 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Dec 06 2015
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Seventh Heaven
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Entertainment Weekly

Above average
Reviewed by Gene Lyons on Aug 24 1990

The trouble with all this portentousness is that the author can’t seem to decide how seriously she wants readers to take her story...the book is suspended somewhere between realism and satire.

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LA Times

Reviewed by Laura Furman on Aug 05 1990

In Alice Hoffman's skillful hands, "Seventh Heaven" is not only entertaining--it gives one new respect for tender suburban dreams.

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