The Story Sisters
First off, let me say that I love Alice Hoffman. She is my favourite author of all time and I will never hesitate to grab one of her books. I own most of them, have read almost all of them (The Dovekeepers is next on my list) and she is one of the few authors that has written books that I can read over and over again (The River King, Practical Magic and Turtle Moon). Her books are magic, pure and simple. She uses language and imagery in such a way that you feel as though you are heading into a feverish swoon and only old potions and elixirs will cure you. The lull and rhythm of her words rock you into a world of feminine secrets, magical realism and old wives tales that should be paid attention to. Her main characters are always women and they are coloured with such strength, humour, beauty, rage, kindness and power that you will instantly recognize yourself in them. Alice Hoffman’s characters are the keepers of the sacred and the divine, as normal as they are and as human as they are, there is always something otherworldly about them. I could go on and on about her books and how every woman needs to read at least one of them. Be warned when you read an Alice Hoffman book though, your eyes will suddenly be opened and you will not be able to look at the world around you with normal eyes ever again. You will see magic everywhere, see connections with everyone and behold beauty in the most darkest places. You will want to sit with women and tear open the secrets of the universe while leaving yourself raw, open and vulnerable. She has a way of making you feel when you read her words. Those feelings crawl inside of you, nestle into your veins and before you know it you are living the story itself, every damn, raw emotion. She sucks you in. I don’t know how she does it, but she sucks you right in.
Whew….see? See what she does to you? Look at me, I start talking about her books and I get all mystic and sage like on you all.
The Story Sisters I feel is one of her strongest stories (next to The River King, but the River King will always be my favourite as it was the first book of hers that I read and I was breathless the entire time I read it, so swept away by the haunting beauty of it). This story is about 4 women and the paths they take that lead them to their fates; 3 sisters and their mother. There are many more characters that come in and out, all of them leaving lasting impressions, but it is the three sisters that deserve all of your strength, love and attention.
It is a story about addiction, abuse and fear. It is a story about family ties and how we will do anything to protect what is ours. It is about the experiences in our lives that shape us and, if we aren’t careful, shape our futures, leading us down paths that will test us, frighten us, strengthen us and ultimately, hopefully, release us. It is a story about love and forgiveness and that everyone, every single person on this earth, has a right to redemption. Whether or not we reach out for it will determine if we continue to live in hell or find peace in heaven.
Lastly, it is a story about the love of sisters and the bonds that women share. It is a story that will ask you to reach out to the women in your life and dare you to strengthen those bonds and share in your vulnerability, no matter how terrifying that may be. All three sisters in this story grow up in a fantasy world and as they grow older they are forced to face reality. Each of them enters into this reality through a different door and it is each of their entries through this door that is so absorbing as is the path they travel.
If you are a fan of magic realism, rhythmic reads and emotional stories, don’t hesitate to read this one. Just be warned, reading the words of Alice Hoffman will set you on fire.
Oh and once you are done reading, don’t be surprised to find yourself suddenly feverish and speaking in poetic verses. Alice Hoffman has tapped into the power we all have but have forgotten and she weaves it well throughout this story, casting a pleasant spell.
Posted on October 8, 2012, in Book Reviews and tagged alice hoffman, book review, books, magic, magic realism, practical magic, the dovekeepers, the river king, the story sisters, turtle moon. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.