Fortune's Daughter

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"This novel's great strength lies in its two heroines, who both find themselves drawn, without plans, hopes or full understanding, into the inevitably mythological process of pregnancy and childbirth....It is beautifully and matter-of-factly told."
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Rae, unmarried and pregnant is alone. Lila is older, happily married, a fortune-teller and unable to cease mourning for the baby she was forced to give up for adoption many years ago. They meet in Southern ...
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Overview

"This novel's great strength lies in its two heroines, who both find themselves drawn, without plans, hopes or full understanding, into the inevitably mythological process of pregnancy and childbirth....It is beautifully and matter-of-factly told."
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Rae, unmarried and pregnant is alone. Lila is older, happily married, a fortune-teller and unable to cease mourning for the baby she was forced to give up for adoption many years ago. They meet in Southern California during the earthquake season—the time when unexpected things happen. Here is Alice Hoffman's beautiful and haunting novel of love and loneliness—and of two women whose lives and fortunes gradually become intertwined.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449209769
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/12/1986
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City in 1952 and grew up on Long Island. Hoffman’s first novel, Property Of, was written when she was twenty-one. Her short fiction and nonfiction works have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and others. Her novel Practical Magic was made into a major motion picture starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman; her young adult novel Aquamarine was made into a movie in 2006. She lives in Boston and New York.

Biography

Born in the 1950s to college-educated parents who divorced when she was young, Alice Hoffman was raised by her single, working mother in a blue-collar Long Island neighborhood. Although she felt like an outsider growing up, she discovered that these feelings of not quite belonging positioned her uniquely to observe people from a distance. Later, she would hone this viewpoint in stories that captured the full intensity of the human experience.

After high school, Hoffman went to work for the Doubleday factory in Garden City. But the eight-hour, supervised workday was not for her, and she quit before lunch on her first day! She enrolled in night school at Adelphi University, graduating in 1971 with a degree in English. She went on to attend Stanford University's Creative Writing Center on a Mirrellees Fellowship. Her mentor at Stanford, the great teacher and novelist Albert Guerard, helped to get her first story published in the literary magazine Fiction. The story attracted the attention of legendary editor Ted Solotaroff, who asked if she had written any longer fiction. She hadn't -- but immediately set to work. In 1977, when Hoffman was 25, her first novel, Property Of, was published to great fanfare.

Since that remarkable debut, Hoffman has carved herself a unique niche in American fiction. A favorite with teens as well as adults, she renders life's deepest mysteries immediately understandable in stories suffused with magic realism and a dreamy, fairy-tale sensibility. (In a 1994 article for The New York Times, interviewer Ruth Reichl described the magic in Hoffman's books as a casual, regular occurrence -- "...so offhand that even the most skeptical reader can accept it.") Her characters' lives are transformed by uncontrollable forces -- love and loss, sorrow and bliss, danger and death.

Hoffman's 1997 novel Here on Earth was selected as an Oprah Book Club pick, but even without Winfrey's powerful endorsement, her books have become huge bestsellers -- including three that have been adapted for the movies: Practical Magic (1995), The River King (2000), and her YA fable Aquamarine (2001).

Hoffman is a breast cancer survivor; and like many people who consider themselves blessed with luck, she believes strongly in giving back. For this reason, she donated her advance from her 1999 short story collection Local Girls to help create the Hoffman Breast Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA.

Good To Know

  • Hoffman has written a number of children's books, including Fireflies: A Winter's Tale(1999), Horsefly (2000), and Moondog (2004).

  • Aquamarine was written for Hoffman's best friend, Jo Ann, who dreamed of the freedom of mermaids as she battled brain cancer.

  • Here on Earth is a modern version of Hoffman's favorite novel, Wuthering Heights.

  • Hoffman has been honored with the Massachusetts Book Award for her teen novel Incantation.
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      1. Hometown:
        Boston, Massachusetts
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 16, 1952
      2. Place of Birth:
        New York, New York
      1. Education:
        B.A., Adelphi University, 1973; M.A., Stanford University, 1974
      2. Website:

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 3.5
    ( 3 )
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    Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted April 15, 2008

      unexpected tribute to motherhood

      Hoffman is never sappy, yet her lyrical writing and flawed characters usually leave me sobbing. I've wanted to have the last paragraph of this book reproduced, framed, and given to every mother I know.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 22, 2005

      Love Hoffman, but not this story!

      Alice Hoffman has to be one of my favorite authors, but I was disappointed by this story. Although it is beautifully written, and the characters are wonderful, it just stops. There is constant disappointment with the lives of the characters. You spend most of the book wanting a woman to find the child she gave up, and when she finally does look for the baby, you are given enormous disappointment. I do not think I would recommend this book to friends.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 25, 2010

      No text was provided for this review.

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