Customer Reviews for

The Story Sisters

Average Rating 4
( 119 )
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5 Star

(47)

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2 Star

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

A good read.

I have loved all of Alice Hoffman's books, I've been reading her for years and years. This book is mature, full of great beauty and of sadness, like life. The sadness is the lesson that people who victimize children not only hurt the children but all the people around t...
I have loved all of Alice Hoffman's books, I've been reading her for years and years. This book is mature, full of great beauty and of sadness, like life. The sadness is the lesson that people who victimize children not only hurt the children but all the people around them, for years to come. The beauty, the strong point in all Hoffman's books is finding magic in nature, in spirit, and the people around us. I hope this one wins her the Pulitzer.

posted by 1Katherine1 on September 3, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Very dark, disturbing subject matter

It's Elizabeth Berg meets Jodi Picoult with a touch of haunting plot twists. This book was so disturbing that, when I got to a particular part on the book with yet ANOTHER reference to animal abuse, I threw it in the recycling bin. I didn't even want to donate it or pas...
It's Elizabeth Berg meets Jodi Picoult with a touch of haunting plot twists. This book was so disturbing that, when I got to a particular part on the book with yet ANOTHER reference to animal abuse, I threw it in the recycling bin. I didn't even want to donate it or pass it along. This made my nighttime reading habit very dismal, and I found it depressing. From a literary standpoint, however, Alice Hoffman addresses head-on the permanent consequences of temporary acts, and she delves into the behavioral changes and emotional tumult of a family in crisis with startling precision.

posted by 297692 on September 6, 2009

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  • Posted June 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Touching But Sad

    Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors and I have read all of her books over and over again, even the young adult books.

    Unfortunately, this book, The Story Sisters did not provide the right entertainment for me. All through the book I kept asking myself, Why am I still reading this?

    It was sad and dark. Her characters were wonderful especially when the three sisters were young and then it took a dark turn after the first 100 pages.

    I wanted a read that left me feeling hope and goodness prevailed. I was, instead, left sad and depressed.

    I gave it three stars for writing and originality.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    I really enjoy Alice Hoffman's books but was quite disappointedi

    I really enjoy Alice Hoffman's books but was quite disappointedin this one.  I did not have her usual wonderful touch of magical realism.  Perhaps if she'd stayed in a more familiar setting instead of this awkward jump to Britain ...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    Interesting

    I like Alice Hoffman's writing, but thought this was depressing. The characters were interesting, but I really didn't come to care about any of them except the one who died. Guess I wanted some self awareness to come much sooner than the end of the book.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    This is a story of three sisters and their relationships with each other.

    The plot is simply the tale of the sisters growing apart and coming together and the details of their lives.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Dark Side of Familial Love

    What would you do for the love of your sister or brother? Alice Hoffman takes us on a journey into the minds of three sisters who are so close as children that they have created a fantasy world where no others are allowed. This world is the creation of the oldest sister, Elv, who rescues her youngest sibling from probably child molestation by taking shoving her out of a moving car and taking her place. When she is released she keeps it all inside herself, vowing to keep both her sisters safe from the demons that inhabit the real world.

    Elv and her sisters are the products of divorced parents. Annie, their mother, thinks she has a close bond with the girls but sadly knows nothing of their fantasy world and Elv's private hell.

    Elv is driven to sex, drugs, and the dark side in her search for love. Claire, the youngest, who Elv rescued from being a victim, watches this downward spiral. She blames herself not only for Elv's fall but also for the deaths of people and animals she loves. Most importantly Claire blames herself for the death of their middle sister, Megan, and vows never again to love another being.

    In the end, we watch the lives of the sisters drift apart before they reunite years later. It is a long, intricate journey but one that is skillfully woven by Ms. Hoffman. The characters are believable and vulnerable and I was anxious to see how they would fare. I would have enjoyed getting deeper into the feelings of Claire and learning more of the young Megan. Perhaps even learning about how the actions of the sisters caused their mother to do some of the things she did. Another aspect I would have enjoyed would have been the story of the girls' father and how he viewed his rebellious oldest daughter.

    As in other Hoffman novels we are treated to wonderful descriptions of Long Island and New England. The author makes good use of using the seasons to reflect the changing lives of Elv and her family. Another thread, common in many of Hoffman's stories, is the use of black roses to signify the dark side of things.

    In all, I didn't like this book as much as Ms. Hoffman's earlier works. There was just something missing, that elusive call to the reader that says, "don't put me down just yet".

    The story starts out full of promise but it isn't until the final chapters that the promise is fulfilled. The middle reads like just so many other stories one sees on the nightly news.

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