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Local Girls

Local Girls


Local Girls

evaluări:
4/5 (25 evaluări)
Lungime:
4 hours
Lansat:
Aug 28, 2009
ISBN:
9781441812599
Format:
Carte audio

Descriere

The New York Times Book Review has noted, "Alice Hoffman writes quite wonderfully about the magic in our lives," and now she casts her spell over a Long Island neighborhood filled with dreamers and dreams. In a dazzling series of family portraits, Hoffman evokes the world of the Samuelsons, a family torn apart by tragedy and divorce in a world of bad judgment and fierce attachments, disappointments and devotion.

With rich, pure prose Hoffman charts the progress of Gretel Samuelson from the time she is a young girl already acquainted with betrayal and grief, until she finally leaves home. Gretel's sly, funny, knowing perspective is at the heart of this collection, as she navigates through loyalty and loss with the help of an unforgettable trio of women: her best friend, Jill, her romance-addled cousin Margot, and her mother, Franny, whose spiritual journey affects them all. Told in alternating voices, these stories are funny and lyrical, disturbing and healing, each a lesson in survival, a reminder of the ties of blood, and the power of friendship.

Lansat:
Aug 28, 2009
ISBN:
9781441812599
Format:
Carte audio


Despre autor

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island. She wrote her first novel, Property Of, while studying creative writing at Stanford University, and since then has published more than thirty books for readers of all ages, including the recent New York Times bestsellers The Museum of Extraordinary Things and The Dovekeepers. Two of her novels, Practical Magic and Aquamarine, have been made into films, and Here on Earth was an Oprah’s Book Club choice. All told, Hoffman’s work has been published in more than twenty languages and one hundred foreign editions. She lives outside of Boston.

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4.2
25 evaluări / 12 Recenzii
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  • (4/5)
    Imbued with a charming voice, these very short stories draw you into the story of Gretel Samuelson's adolescence and keep you flipping pages. I finished it in practically one sitting (airport, airplane...that's about one sitting.) A quick and moving read.It does move, over the course of the book, from mostly first-person stories to third-person stories, as the content becomes more serious. While this saves the author from having to render dramatic, emotional events in a first-person voice that might overwhelm, it seems, by the end, a possible misstep. We lose the Gretel we loved from the first page, and even if losing her was part of the journey, I wanted to, and felt I deserved to, have her again by the last page.
  • (5/5)
    I very much liked this book. The voice is perfect, and the swapping from first person sections to third person sections made very good sense as the narrative unfolded, and enabled the reader to get different and deeper understandings of Gretel.
    I picked up this book from the pile my sister left for me, not for first choice (the cover didn't really grab me), but because I had an appointment to go to by public transport. (I prefer a physical book for the train/tram/bus scenario as it's safer - i won't miss a bell clanging while i have headphones in!). And it's a slim volume, eminently portable.
    It delivered so much more than I expected. I had to put all my other books aside to finish reading it. Brilliant.
  • (2/5)
    Alice Hoffman has never really disappointed me with a book... Until now. I thought this book was lacking. Lacking the character development I'm used to from her. Lacking the magic I'm accustomed to. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, but it didn't have the amazing quality all her other books have shared...
  • (3/5)
    I was really excited to read Local Girls because Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors. Unfortunately I didn't feel like this book was as good as the others I've read by her.The Local Girls must be Gretel, the main character, and her best friend, Jill. They are teenage neighbors who exact revenge with vandalism on people who have wronged them. Gretel's brother is a science genius in high school, but when he graduates he becomes a drug addict. Gretel's mom and her mom's cousin Margot are best friends who open a catering business together after they have both been left by their husbands for other women. Each character was really tragic but other than divorce I didn't see the cause for everyone's dysfunction. It was a really choppy, disjointed story.My favorite character was Margot because she made fun for herself in creative ways.I recommend skipping Local Girls and instead reading Alice Hoffman's superior novels, The Probable Future, The River King, The Story Sisters, or Practical Magic. If you decide to read Local Girls anyway, the good thing is that, "All author profits from this edition are being donated to breast cancer research and breast cancer care centers."I really love the cover, which was illustrated by Maggie Taylor. I am thankful I read Local Girls because it introduced me to an amazing artist!
  • (3/5)
    I just don't the comparisons to Jane Smiley. I don't get the comparisons of Jane Hamilton with Smiley either, but Hamilton is in a league closer than Hoffman is. (Does anyone else confuse Hamilton with Hoffman? Hoffman is the one that dabbles with the supernatural. Unfortunately, she doesn't do so here).Maybe she has improved over time. I read something by Hoffman that wasn't this bad (Here on Earth? Seventh Heaven?) Although this was first published in 1999, it is a collection of short stories about the same characters, so perhaps these represent early efforts. They don't seem to be anchored in any particular time. Somewhere between the 1970s and the internet age, I guess.It's that chatty. women's magazine style in which characters have quirks but you never sense they are attached to a genuine recognizable characters. So we have these stories about the neighbor girl friends over time. In the first one. where they are junior high age, we get this chatty, first-person narrative in a voice that wouldn't pass the ear test of any adolescent in the Western world. All right, not as silly as Zadie Smith's and Updike's blunt stabs, but not good.I was making comparisons with the cheezy but edible snacks of chick lit, but she even failed abominably at that. So aforementioned narrator (forget her name already) embarks on her first heated sexual relationship with a dumber, slightly older drug dealer. Now, sure, this happens all the time to teenagers, including to otherwise smart girls. Hoffman doesn't even try to convey the nature of the attraction or what they do in bed. Maybe some cool, witty remarks from this guy. Also, her best friend has just been forced to dropout of high school on becoming pregnant; they've discussed abortion--and she doesn't even contemplate contraception? New boyfriend doesn't either? Didn't make sense in Dirty Dancing either. It's pretty evident that, yes, this could happen to narrator too. I have similar objections to the perfunctory account of the brother's slide into drug addiction and doom. Does Hoffman even know what kind of drugs the boy is supposed to be taking? Sure, boys at the top of their classes can become enmeshed in addiction, etc. It's just that there is noting persuasive about this character or the sequence of events.
  • (4/5)
    This was one of those magical little books that you come across once in a blue moon.Local Girls is a short novel divided into little snippets of stories. Each story builds on those before it, however they are each a captured moment in the life of a women from girlhood to adulthood.Although the book says that it is all told through one perspective, there were a few stories told through the eyes of others. Regardless, these did not take away from the flow or tone of the story. For example, the snippet where Greta's brother battles his particular demons would not be nearly as poignant told from another view - it has to be from him.I also loved the themes which were illustrated throughout the stories. How do we define growing up, or growing up too fast? When is the right time to let go? How should we cope with loss? How do you define family?Each individual is flawed, and therefore very real. There is something very human about each of these characters which makes you want more and more. Unfortunately, the book is very short - that would have to be my only complaint!
  • (4/5)
    Alice Hoffman's prose floats and envelopes the reader - somewhere just this side of poetry
  • (4/5)
    Roses. Cancer. Growing up. Drugs. This material seems familiar, but I don't really mind that Hoffman's themes are so well-developed; it's still an enjoyable ride. Two main takeaways: I wonder if Jason was a prototype for Sam in Skylight Confessions. That type of character is so hard to accept and understand, and I'm glad she's exploring the theme of drug use. And Hoffman's descriptions of death by cancer are, as usual, lyrical and gorgeous. "Objects were not as defined or as singular as they once had been. An apple was a beautiful as a kiss. Her daughter's face was no different from the moon." That's the kind of writing that keeps me coming back to Alice Hoffman.
  • (4/5)
    This collection of short stories is often sad, but in a beautiful way, with growth and hope. It reminds me of a close-up shot of a broken sidewalk, all dirty and cracked, with 3 beautiful flowers struggling to grow out of it. They grow strong and all the more lovely for where they are and how hard it was to get there. As always, Alice Hoffman's writing is thought-provoking and full of insight into characters and thier thoughts. Left me with a quiet, peaceful, good feeling.
  • (5/5)
    Local Girls by Alice Hoffman. For those of you who don't know---she is my favorite author (not withstanding John Steinbeck---and this is the best of hers to date.It is about a one-of-a-kinder girl who grows up with a mother who has cancer (sometimes in remission), her brother (who is brilliant but sometimes abuses drugs) and a cousin or aunt (I forget which) who is just 15 years older and very close with Gretel (the main character). The mother and cousin/aunt have a catering biz ran from the mother's kitchen and Gretel helps them. She has a best friend (Jill) and they have everything in common until Jill falls in love with and becomes impregnated by a loser. Now their worlds are different and Gretel has to make/find her own world.Wonderfully drawn characters, beautifully drawn scenes, tearfully drawn climaxes, and an ending that comes way too soon but at a fitting time and place.If you like to read books by and/or about women---please read Alice Hoffman. She is wonderful.
  • (5/5)
    Another awesome book by Alice Hoffman. It's so hard to explain what it is I like so much about her books. Her writing style is so unlike any other I've read. What's even more interesting with this particular book is that each chapter does not take place directly after the previous chapter. Sometimes days have gone by, sometimes years. This really makes sense because not every day of someone's life is noteworthy.

    The story is about two girls, Gretel and Jill and their families and lives. Both of their moms are ill albeit in different ways and Gretel's brother turns from scholar to a nobody. There are some very sad parts in the book but I found the whole thing gripping. I had trouble putting it down to get things done.

  • (5/5)
    A lovely compilation of short stories that all fit together to a remembrance of teen angst. I true stunner.