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The Third Angel: A Novelby Alice Hoffman
Synopses & Reviews
Alice Hoffman is one of our most beloved writers. Here on Earth was an Oprah Book Club selection. Practical Magic and Aquamarine were both bestselling books and Hollywood movies. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, and People magazine, and her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, and Self.
Now, in The Third Angel, Hoffman weaves a magical and stunningly original story that charts the lives of three women in love with the wrong men: Headstrong Madeleine Heller finds herself hopelessly attracted to her sister's fiancé. Frieda Lewis, a doctor's daughter and a runaway, becomes the muse of an ill-fated rock star. And beautiful Bryn Evans is set to marry an Englishman while secretly obsessed with her ex-husband. At the heart of the novel is Lucy Green, who blames herself for a tragic accident she witnessed at the age of twelve, and who spends four decades searching for the Third Angel — the angel on earth who will renew her faith.
Brilliantly evoking London's King's Road, Knightsbridge, and Kensington while moving effortlessly back in time, The Third Angel is a work of startling beauty about the unique, alchemical nature of love.
"In this elegant and stunning novel, veteran heartstring-puller Hoffman (Here on Earth; Seventh Heaven) examines the lives of three women at different crossroads in their lives, tying their London-centered stories together in devastating retrospect. High powered New York attorney Maddy Heller arrives in 1999 London having had an affair with Paul, her sister Allie's fiancé, she must now cope with the impending marriage, and with Paul' s terminal illness —which echoes the girls&' mother's cancer during their childhood. Hoffman then shifts to heady 1966 London and to Frieda Lewis, Paul's future mother, who falls for a doomed up-and-coming songwriter knowing he will break her heart. The narrative then shifts further back, to 1952 and to Maddy and Allie's future mother, Lucy Green. A bookish 12-year-old wise beyond her years, Lucy sails with her father and stepmother from New York to London for a wedding. There, she becomes an innocent catalyst to a devastating event involving a love triangle. Hoffman interweaves the three stories, gazing unerringly into forces that cause some people to self-destruct ('There was no such thing as too much for a girl who thought she was second best') and others to find inner strength to last a lifetime." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Her latest and one of her best is an exceptionally well-structured, beguiling, and affecting triptych of catastrophic love stories....Hoffman has transcended her own genre." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Once again, novelist Hoffman weaves a mesmerizing tale of the human condition....A solid story with a haunting plot line and interesting characters, this latest novel is sure to please Hoffman's fans and win over new readers. Recommended." Library Journal
"Though all three episodes are strongly conceived with complex characters, the connecting material includes carelessly repetitive plot devices....Some moving material about love and loss, swamped by authorial excess." Kirkus Reviews
"Alice Hoffman is my favorite writer." Jodi Picoult
"The Third Angel is brilliantly crafted, deeply moving, and utterly enchanting. I loved these characters for their complexity, their unpredictability and for the way they showed subtle and shifting nuance in human nature. One of the best things about Alice Hoffman's writing is that she grounds you in detail and also frees your imagination to soar to places it has never been — often simultaneously. Reading her is immensely satisfying — and addictive!" Elizabeth Berg, author of The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted
"Alice Hoffman takes seemingly ordinary lives and lets us see and feel extraordinary things." Amy Tan
About the Author
Alice Hoffman is the author of nineteen novels, including the bestsellers Practical Magic and Here On Earth (an Oprah's Book Club selection); two books of short stories; and eight books for children and young adults. Her work has been published in more than twenty translations and in more than one hundred foreign editions. She divides her time between Boston and New York City.
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