Synopses & Reviews
On the night her father dies, Arlyn is certain that the man she is
meant to be with will walk into her life. But fate seems to be playing
a trick when John Moody knocks on her door to ask for directions. Cool,
practical, and deliberate, John is dreamy Arlyn's polar opposite. Yet
the two are drawn powerfully together even when it is clear they are
bound to bring each other grief. Their marriage is dangerous territory,
tracing a map no one should follow. It leads them and their children to
a house made of glass in the Connecticut countryside, to the rooftops
and avenues of Manhattan, and to the blue waters of Long Island Sound,
all in a search for family and identity.
Walking this path of ruin and redemption are Sam, their son, a
brilliant, explosive artist who is drawn to self-destruction and
dreams; Blanca, the beautiful loner who tries desperately to protect
her brother from his destiny and lives her own life in a world of
books; and Will, the grandson, who is left a legacy of broken pieces he
needs to put together, an emotional and mysterious puzzle made up of
people who don't know the first thing about love.
Here is a family so real, so tragic, so devoted, it is as if they
have written their own riveting history-a quest for love and truth.
Glass breaks, love hurts, and families make their own rules. No one who
reads this book will ever forget it or look at their own family in
quite the same way. Skylight Confessions is a luminous and elegant work of true originality.
"In Hoffman's 19th novel, a young woman becomes the victim of the destiny she's created, leaving behind a splintered family. On the day of her father's funeral, 17-year-old Arlyn Singer decides the first man who walks down the street will be her one love. That night, Yale senior John Moody stops to ask directions, and Arlyn and John take the first passionate steps toward what will become a marriage of heartache and mutual betrayal. After John's architect father dies, the couple moves into his Connecticut home, a glass house called the Glass Slipper, and Arlyn has an affair with a local laborer. She dies while her second child is still young, and the story forks to follow the divergent paths taken by the Moody children. Sam, the self-destructive first-born, spray paints his angst all over lower Manhattan and has a son before disappearing. Blanca, Sam's sister and the only family member he loves, moves to London and opens a bookstore. John remarries, to Cynthia, and has another daughter, but carries a family secret with him to his grave. Ghostly apparitions lend an air of dark enchantment, though the numerous dream sequences feel heavy-handed." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Achingly beautiful and filled with heart-wrenchingly real characters: one of Hoffman's best." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Hoffman's shimmering, multigenerational melodrama bewitches with supernatural imagery." Booklist
"Hoffman's gift for framing otherworldly elements in down-to-earth language intensifies the flawed resolve of the tragic Moodys as they desperately pummel their way through loss and grief and, maybe, redemption. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"Be warned...that Skylight Confessions may bewitch you, to use the obligatory reviewer word for Hoffman, but it may also move you to tears. More than once....[A]nother spellbinding tale that will send you into the woods." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Because of the arduous demands of our so-called real lives, every society needs fairy tales, and Alice Hoffman, over the years, has excelled at producing them for us....Hoffman stacks the fictional deck in every way." Washington Post
"[A] haunting meditation on the curse of bottomless grief, a wickedly hard spell to break." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"[T]hose who feel that one of literature's tasks is to challenge such fantasies are likely to wonder at the gap between Alice Hoffman's high reputation and the thin literary skills on display in her latest work." Wall Street Journal
"Every culture needs fairy tales, and in the subconscious depths of this novel is an image of people leaping from the twin towers like flaming birds, transformed by magic, able to fly away." Los Angeles Times
"Even when the plot sounds like leavings from a soap opera, Hoffman saves the day with her control of the story and her signature fairy dust." Minneapolis Star Tribune
The marriage of Arlyn Singer and John Moody, opposites who are drawn to each other despite a mutual lack of understanding, has a profound and lasting impact on them, their children, and their grandchildren, in a poignant novel of three generations of a family haunted and shaped by love. 100,000 first printing.
This stunning new novel about three generations of a family haunted by love is from the bestselling author of Practical Magic and The Ice Queen.
Writing at the height of her powers, Alice Hoffman conjures three generations of a family haunted by love.
Cool, practical, and deliberate, John is dreamy Arlyn's polar opposite. Yet the two are drawn powerfully together even when it is clear they are bound to bring each other grief. Their difficult marriage leads them and their children to a house made of glass in the Connecticut
countryside, to the avenues of Manhattan
, and to the blue waters of Long Island Sound. Glass breaks, love hurts, and families make their own rules. Ultimately, it falls to their grandson, Will, to solve the emotional puzzle of his family and of his own identity.
About the Author
Alice Hoffman's work has been
published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred
foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of
the year by the New York Times
, Entertainment Weekly
, the Los Angeles Times
, Library Journal
, and People Magazine
. Ms. Hoffman has also worked as a screenwriter for many years and is the author of the original screenplay Independence Day
, a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Weist. Hoffman's short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the
New York Times
, the Boston Globe Magazine
, Kenyon Review
Redbook, Architectural Digest
and many other magazines.