My emotional reaction to Alice Hoffman as a whole is peace and relaxation. She has a slow, easy form of story telling that is similiar to the writing style of Robert James Waller (Bridges of Madison County)
I would recommend this book to any educated woman that enjoys a love story that involves the depths of characters and human emotion rather than a lot of sex and cheese.
The Blackbird House is set in Massachussetts on the cape. The house itself is the background for a series of vinettes that are woven together through common neighbors and landscape. For example, the wife in the first family that lives in this house plants sweet peas. The sweet peas are present throughout the book, even when we find characters that try to dig them up.
The Blackbird House is both a collection of short stories and a complete novel. Our characters are developed one chapter at a time, sometimes through generations.
The Blackbird House houses true love always, great loss almost always, murder and subtle magic in the form of intuition and omens. Although the Blackbird that turns white is real, he is sometimes seen as a ghost, sometimes as an omen. Common motifs include the landscaping, the sweetpeas, the red pear tree, turnips. Things one generation has planted that continue to nurish generations into the future.
Alice Hoffman has a very real writing style. Her men are real men, they don't always sweep you off your feet and there's not always a happy ending. She is a very relaxing, very real author.
I would compare her most to Robert James Waller, for her slow, easy, realistic style and I would compare Blackbird House to anything Danielle Steele for the story told through generations.
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