Here on Earth

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Overview

From bestselling author Alice Hoffman comes Here on Earth, a spellbinding tale of love and obsession. After nearly twenty years of living in California, March Murray, along with her fifteen-year-old daughter, Gwen, returns to the small Massachusetts town where she grew up to attend the funeral of Judith Dale, the beloved housekeeper who raised her. Thrust into the world of her past, March slowly realizes the complexity of the choices made by those around her, including Mrs. Dale, who knew more of love than March ...
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Overview

From bestselling author Alice Hoffman comes Here on Earth, a spellbinding tale of love and obsession. After nearly twenty years of living in California, March Murray, along with her fifteen-year-old daughter, Gwen, returns to the small Massachusetts town where she grew up to attend the funeral of Judith Dale, the beloved housekeeper who raised her. Thrust into the world of her past, March slowly realizes the complexity of the choices made by those around her, including Mrs. Dale, who knew more of love than March could have ever suspected; Alan, the brother whose tragic history has left him grief-stricken, with alcohol his only solace; and Hollis, the boy she loved, the man she can't seem to stay away from. Erotic, disturbing, and compelling, Here on Earth is the dramatic and lyrical account of the joys of love, and the destruction love can release.

From bestselling author Alice Hoffman comes Here on Earth, a spellbinding tale of love and obsession. After nearly twenty years of living in California, March Murray, along with her fifteen-year-old daughter, Gwen, returns to the small Massachusetts town where she grew up to attend the funeral of Judith Dale, the beloved housekeeper who raised her. Thrust into the world of her past, March slowly realizes the complexity of the choices made by those around her, including Mrs. Dale, who knew more of love than March could have ever suspected; Alan, the brother whose tragic history has left him grief-stricken, with alcohol his only solace; and Hollis, the boy she loved, the man she can't seem to stay away from. Erotic, disturbing, and compelling, Here on Earth is the dramatic and lyrical account of the joys of love, and the destruction love can release.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Book clubs, take note: in Here On Earth, her fantastic new novel about a mother's bittersweet trip home, the mistress of magical realism conjures up a world with shadowy undercurrents.... Oprah Winfrey, have I got a novel for you.... Here On Earth is Oprah lit at its finest, and I mean that as very high praise." --Entertainment Weekly

For more than 20 years, New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman has been writing stories that have touched the hearts of her legions of fans. Now, with her 12th novel, Here On Earth, Hoffman explores the hidden passions that lurk in suburban Massachusetts and the damaging results love can have.

After nearly two decades of living on the West Coast, March Murray, along with her feisty teenage daughter, Gwen, returns to her hometown in Massachusetts. She returns to attend the funeral of Judith Dale, the housekeeper who helped raised her. However, by returning to this sleepy suburb, she is reunited with Hollis, March's former soul mate and lover. Hollis was an abandoned child who March's father had taken in as a teenager and treated like a son. When Hollis left after a fight, March waited every day for three years for him to return, wondering what had gone wrong. Now she has been reunited with her long-lost love.

By encountering Hollis, March becomes painfully aware of the choices that she has made in life as well as the choices everyone around her has made -- including Judith Dale and March's brother Alan. March learns that Judith knew a lot more about love than she could have ever suspected. And Alan, who always resented Hollis's presence and was painfully malicious to him, has been left grief-stricken, with alcohol as his only solace.

March soon realizes that her attraction to Hollis has not died, and that she still has an overwhelming attraction to the onetime abandoned child, who is now a millionaire. March jeopardizes her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, and her own happiness in one final attempt to reclaim the past. Glamour magazine writes, "March quickly becomes obsessed with her long-lost love, Hollis, a bitter and difficult man whom March believes she alone understands. That big trouble will ensue seems all but inevitable. But Hoffman's taste for melodrama is balanced here by her uncanny ability to imbue even the most recognizable situations with supernatural vividness -- an unpredictable touch of magic that is this author's calling card."

Karen Karbo
Here on Earth' owes a lot to 'Wuthering Heights.' It is a testament to Hoffman's gifts for language and narrative -- not to mention her boldness -- that the novel works at all. . . despite Hoffman's confident lyricism, her novel's premise -- of doomed, fated love, submitted to without question -- never becomes fully plausible. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Often, in her soulful novels, Hoffman (Practical Magic, etc.) lets mystical atmospherics-animals that take on superhuman qualities, intense colors and temperatures, minute vibrations in the air that signal ghosts or spirits-do all the work while her characters behave in strange and incredible ways under the influence of forces outside themselves. In this novel, the characters' behavior, while highly emotional, is initially at least traceable to psychological motivation. Unfortunately, Hoffman abandons psychological credibility halfway through, after which her protagonist, March Murray, behaves like an automaton. When March comes back to her childhood home in a small Massachusetts town after 19 years in California, she is swept with longing for Hollis, her former soul mate and lover who ran away in a fit of pique. March waited for him for three years, then married her next-door neighbor, Richard Cooper. When Hollis finally did return, he wed Richard's sister, who has since died. Hollis now determines to win March back, and she can't resist his single-minded pursuit. Hoffman conveys the mesmerizing lure of a lost love with haunting sensuality; but March's excuses for Hollis's violent personality and for his physical abuse of her and her teenaged daughter, Gwen, are well beyond the willed myopia of even obsessive love. Other love affairsbetween the housekeeper who raised March and the man who was her father's law partner; and between rebellious teenager Gwen (the best character by far, drawn with delightful realism) and March's reclusive brother's sonare described with much more insight and plausibility. The high drama of this novel, and Hoffman's assured and lyrical prose, may carry the day for readers who can accept the premise that a passionate obsession can make sweet reason, maternal protectiveness and the instinct for self-preservation fly out the window.
Library Journal
As this novel opens, March Murray Cooper returns to her hometown, ostensibly to bury the woman who raised her but needing to resolve the unfinished business of her youthful love for Hollis, from whom she has been separated for years. Hollis has now grown into a man embittered by loneliness. He has learned neither to forgive nor to forget, and March must discover whether he can ever learn to love. Hoffman (Practical Magic, LJ 12/94) takes great care here to examine the many facets of love and relationships, turning them like a prism to reflect on March and Hollis. Hoffman's evocative language and her lyrical descriptions of place contrast sharply with the emotional scars that her characters must uncover and bear. Her novel is a haunting tale of a woman lost in and to love; it will enthrall the reader from beginning to end. Highly recommended. Caroline M. Hallsworth, Cambrian Coll., Sudbury, Ontario
Courtney Weaver
[W]hat makes Alice Hoffman's fiction so consistently compelling? Is it her story lines, reminiscent of Harlequin romances but with occasionally peppery dashes of cultural savviness? Or is it her characters, Anne Tyler-esque in their oddities, but without the irony? Or perhaps it's that quasi-New Age voice, lulling you into a Marianne Williamson world where one's fate is left to the movements of the sun, the moon, the planets or just some unnamed Higher Being?

Hoffman's fans won't be disappointed by the airy-fairy Here on Earth, her 12th novel, which weaves all of Hoffman's usual themes into a dreamy, intricate family melodrama, complete with alcoholism, wife-beating, obsessional love and whiffs of murder. It's the story of March Murray, who returns to her ancestral home at Fox Hill in New England after spending decades away in "lemon-colored" Palo Alto. In tow is her difficult teenage daughter Gwen, who is described as "pretty ... in spite of all her sabotage." At issue is a death in the family, but we know that March is really back to face her old ghosts, this time in the form of her adopted brother Hollis, whom she has been obsessively thinking about ever since his disappearance 20 years earlier.

Confused? Don't be. Here on Earth, despite its convoluted plot threads and histories, is at heart a romance novel with a bite. As with a good made-for-TV movie, you can pretty much guess what will happen to poor old March, whose naiveté is at best frustrating and at worst unlikable. Nor is it any surprise that Hollis -- with his black, snapping eyes, and whose exits are followed by a blast of cold wind -- reveals himself to be Evil Incarnate: Subtlety is not one of Hoffman's strong points.

Still, this novel's comfy, confident voice is enough to lure you into an armchair for the better part of an evening. Hoffman's world is a place where emotions become aromas: Longing is "the scent of grass on her pillow"; anger is a "scorching scent"; mourning is "the scent of roses sweet and ripe and sorrowful." Moons peep out behind trees, fox-colored dogs herald the advent of evil and dreams are to be courted and followed.

Hoffman relies on her readers suspending a certain amount of disbelief, which may lull her into thinking she can get away with some occasionally terrible writing. "One look from him is more substantial than the wooden bar she's leaning her elbows upon," Ms. Hoffman breathlessly writes when March spies Hollis for the first time. "It's realer than the bottles of whiskey lined up behind the counter; realer than the pull of fabric as Susie tugs on her jacket." Thankfully, descriptions like that are few and far between. Ms. Hoffman may have more in common with Robert James Waller than Robert Louis Stevenson, but Here on Earth is no toothless romance. It's curiously pleasurable, and reading it induces only a minimum of guilt. --Salon

Kirkus Reviews
From the author of Practical Magic (1995), among others, a kind of inside-out Bridges of Madison County in which the middle- aged mother of a teenager falls in love with a bad man, leaves her husband for him, and winds up abused and isolated. The results are predictably depressing.

It might seem that March Murray has purely sentimental reasons for leaving her apparently happy life in California (nice house, professor husband) to attend her former housekeeper's funeral in Jenkintown, Mass., the bleak, suffocatingly tiny town where she grew up. After all, Mrs. Dale did help March's father raise her after the girl's mother died, and she remained a loyal friend until her death. But anyone who knew March in her teenage years must suspect that her real reason for returning with sullen teenage daughter in tow is for a reunion with Hollis, the bad boy March was once inseparable from. An abandoned child and the product of a series of detention homes, Hollis was brought to the Murray house as a charity-case boarder when he was in his teens. He kept his own counsel, except when sending smoldering glances March's way. The two became lovers until a misunderstanding split them apart—March to marry the rich boy next door, Hollis to amass a fortune, marry March's sister-in-law, and survive her to wait, brooding, for March's return. Their heated reunion leads to the breakup of March's marriage, and, despite the warnings of practically everyone in town, March moves into Hollis's gloomy mansion, puts up with his neurotic possessiveness, and watches him scare her daughter back to California before she realizes that the Hollis she lives with now is nothing but the evil, heartless relic of the wounded boy she once loved.

A chilly, hopeless love story with an unhappy conclusion. Hard to see what readers will find to like in such a tale.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425169698
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Series: Oprah's Book Club Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 241,543
  • Product dimensions: 4.34 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice  Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the author of fifteen novels: Blue Diary (2001), The River King (2000), Local Girls (1999), Here On Earth (1997), Practical Magic (1995), Second Nature (1994), Turtle Moon (1992), Seventh Heaven (1990), At Risk (1988), Illumination Night (1987), Fortune’s Daughter (1985), White Horses (1982), Angel Landing (1980), The Drowning Season (1979), and Property Of (1977). She is also the author of three children’s books: Aquamarine (2001), Horsefly (2000), and Fireflies (1997).

Born in New York City, and raised on Long Island, Hoffman graduated from Adelphi University and received an M.A. from Stanford University, where she was Mirrielees Fellow. She currently lives near Boston with her family and her dogs.

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.
  • Read More Show Less
      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:

    Table of Contents

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    Interviews & Essays

    On Friday, September 26th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Alice Hoffman to discuss HERE ON EARTH.


    Moderator: Welcome, Alice Hoffman! Thanks for joining us this afternoon. And welcome to all who have tuned in online. How are you today, Ms. Hoffman?

    Alice Hoffman: Good. It is nice to be here.


    Jennifer from Arizona: Are any of your books autobiographical in either content or influence?

    Alice Hoffman: Well, I think mostly no, because I am not writing from reality-based situations. I think of my books as being like a dream -- in a dream every character is little piece of you, and that is how my novels work.


    Ben from RI: I hear conflicting things about your books -- maybe you can help me to understand. On the one hand, I hear about love and the flowers that bloom in your books, the magical realism. On the other, I hear about darkness, about complexity. How do you wrap it all into one? Which of your books do you suggest I read first?

    Alice Hoffman: That is a good question, but a complicated question. The truth is, I don't like labels. If people say I do magic realism, it is OK, but I don't think of my work in those terms. Maybe because I have written so many books over a long period of time, they are different from each other. That is what keeps it interesting for me.


    Davis from Montreal: Hello, Alice. I am a big fan our your writing. Are you going on a reading tour? Any chance we'll see you coming up here to Canada?

    Alice Hoffman: Thanks. I just finished a reading tour, but it did not include Canada. Thank you for the invitation.


    Rita Hecht from Manhattan: Are any of your characters based on your childhood experiences growing up in Franklin Square with your cousin Rita Hecht?

    Alice Hoffman: Hey, Rita. No, I am really more interested in emotional truth. The book closest to being autobiographical is SEVENTH HEAVEN. It takes place in Long Island, where I grew up, in the time I grew up, but everything else is imagined.


    Hank from Metaire, LA: Question you probably get all the time: How do you come up with such creative material to write about? What inspires your creative intuition?

    Alice Hoffman: When I start working on a book, I always think I know what it is going to be about, but for me, the process of writing is the way I find out what a book is really going to be about. My problem is that I have too many ideas and I won't have time to finish them all.


    Henry Balsam from Philadelphia: Alice: I read, loved, clipped out, and saved a quote from The Philadelphia Inquirer about your last book, PRACTICAL MAGIC. It reads: "Love, both anarchic and exonerating, lies at the heart of things." I love this quote. Tell me, how easy is it to write about love? Do you have to know it to write about it?

    Alice Hoffman: When you write fiction, you don't have to know anything. All you need is to know the emotional truth. But it is true, I like to write about love.


    Sandi McCraw from North Carolina: I have always wondered how someone can get into an abusive situation and stay there to suffer the abuse. Your novel has made me realize that sometimes the abuse begins so gradually, the victim doesn't see what is happening until it is too late (almost) to remove themselves from the situation. Was this one of your goals in writing the novel? (To bring domestic abuse to a point where someone who has not been abused could understand?) Thanks for a wonderful novel.

    Alice Hoffman: Thank you for saying this. When I write a novel, it is not to teach someone else but to teach myself. It always seems to me that people who don't understand domestic abuse seem to be missing the fact that the abuser is not a stranger, it is a husband, father, or boyfriend, somebody loved, and it makes the situation very complicated. And thanks again for the comment -- it means a lot to me.


    David from Oyster Bay: Have you had to defend yourself from critics who point the finger and say you are dubbing Emily Brontë?

    Alice Hoffman: No, I really haven't, because my book HERE ON EARTH is so different. What I am doing is taking some of the themes she used. I would not try to copy her; I would be crazy to do that. I love WUTHERING HEIGHTS.


    JWCYMVA@AOL.com: Do you base any of your characters on people you know? I feel like I know some of characters. Like Alan, for example -- I almost felt like you were describing somebody I've known for 20 years.

    Alice Hoffman: The characters I write about are not based on real people. To be honest, I think they contain an element of myself. I want to write fiction. I am not trying to get at a reality that is already there. Maybe we all know somebody like Alan. If we all know somebody like Alan, then his character rings true for different readers even though they have had different experiences.


    Marie C. from Los Angeles, CA: I am here at a chat while I am supposed to be working.... What can I say -- you are one of my favorite authors. I heard something about one of your books being made into a movie with Sandra Bullock. Is that true?

    Alice Hoffman: Well, thanks for your kind words. I hear that, too. I think it may start in January, directed by Griffin Dunne, who has directed ADDICTED TO LOVE, and it will star Sandra Bullock.


    Rory from Florida: Alice, two questions:
    1) When you begin your writing sessions, how do you begin? Do you do a writing exercise? How do you start?
    2) What was your most favorite part to write in this novel?
    Thanks!

    Alice Hoffman: Sometimes I do start with an exercise. I sometimes find when I finish a novel and then start another that I forget how to write. I write down facts about the characters so I know them inside and out. And my favorite part of HERE ON EARTH was that I felt so immersed in this place when I was writing it. I painted my office so it felt like I was in autumn all the time, I covered it with leaves and painted it orange and green. And there I was.


    Rita Hecht from Manhattan: Will you be doing a book signing anytime soon in the New York area?

    Alice Hoffman: I just did Barnes & Noble in Chelsea, and I won't be doing any more soon. Sorry I missed you.


    Thomas from Hanover, NH: I've asked this question a couple of times with different authors, and they have all answered by saying their favorite of their novels is their latest work. Would you say that HERE ON EARTH is your favorite of your books? My favorite is PRACTICAL MAGIC, although, I haven't read HERE ON EARTH yet.

    Alice Hoffman: Yeah, I guess it is HERE ON EARTH. The truth is, my favorite book is the one that hasn't been written yet, so it is always the next one.


    Mark from NYC: What kinds of imaginative games did you play as a child that involved some of the fairy-tale images -- witches, giants, etc.-- that pop up in your books? Thanks.

    Alice Hoffman: My favorite things to read were fairy tales when I was younger because I felt they had an emotional truth in them. I was also a fan of reading anything involving a dog. I just wrote a children's book, entitiled FIREFLIES, and it has some of those elements in it.


    Andrea from California: To be more specific, which book will be made into a movie? Now you have me all excited.

    Alice Hoffman: PRACTICAL MAGIC looks like it might be, but you never know in Hollywood. It seems like PRACTICAL MAGIC may be made into a movie in January.


    luna410 from Chicago: Dear Ms. Hoffman, you are my favorite author. My favorite book so far is SEVENTH HEAVEN. I just loved Nora! Your newest book, HERE ON EARTH, was wonderful also. I am wondering if you think that real life has a magical quality -- for example, do you believe in synchronicity?

    Alice Hoffman: I do believe in synchronicity, and I do believe there are magical elements in everyday life. All you have to do is look at fireflies on a summer night. If that is not magic, I don't know what is.


    Jennifer from Dover, NJ: Do you read your book reviews?

    Alice Hoffman: Sometimes. I don't read them all. I think they are dangerous for writers to read -- it is not a good idea to be influenced by too much praise or too much criticism, because really you are writing the book for yourself, and if other people like it, great.


    Lynn V. from Chicago: Alice, I just love your novels, because you aren't afraid to examine the magical and ineffable quality of life. I've been taken by your writing ever since I read FORTUNE'S DAUGHTER. My question is this: I also am a writer, but I find it hard to allow myself to get into the magical realm that you explore so beautifully. It's as if there's a rational critic in my head saying, "Nope. Unbelievable." How do you get that critic to shut up?

    Alice Hoffman: Such a good question, and it is something I deal with every day. I like to work really early, before that critic is at work, and just let your writing flow even for a short time. I always think the more you write, the more free you become.


    Kelly from Cincinnati, OH: How does it feel to be listed as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Entertainment?

    Alice Hoffman: It feels really, really good.


    Paul from Morris Plains, NJ: I am a big fan. Just wondering: What are some of your interests outside of writing?

    Alice Hoffman: Well, reading. I am mostly interested in writing. I have kids, dogs, and friends, and basically that is it. That is my life.


    Penny from Port Washington, NY: Do you miss Long Island? Do you ever see yourself coming back?

    Alice Hoffman: Well, I feel like I am back and around in my writing. It is an important place for me emotionally. I still have friends there, and I do go back and visit.


    Frederick from Tampa Bay: Do you believe in spirits, that angels walk the earth? The afterlife?

    Alice Hoffman: Well, I don't know. I am pretty open to believing in pretty much anything. In my real life, I am something of a realist. I am the kind of person who, when invited to a friends house for dinner and they begin talking about the ghost that lives there, I leave. I might believe in it, but I am not ready for it.


    Jill from New Jersey: Other than writers, who had the most influence on your childhood?

    Alice Hoffman: My grandmother did. I was very close to her, and she told me lots of stories about growing up in Russia that I feel influenced my work. She was very supportive -- unconditional love.


    Francine from Austin, TX: Hello, Alice. I really enjoy your novels. And I really like the cover of HERE ON EARTH. Do you design your covers?

    Alice Hoffman: Thank you. I don't. I really like the cover of HERE ON EARTH. I don't design them, but I feel like I have been really lucky. I love this cover, and I think it is the best.


    Andrea from California: I appreciate your writing so much that I wonder what you are reading lately? What authors inspire you?

    Alice Hoffman: When I am writing fiction, I don't read. When I was traveling with my book, I read THE COLOR OF WATER by James McBride. I love Anne Tyler, Amy Tan.... There are a lot of people I enjoy reading, but not when I am working.


    Mark from NYC: The voice in HERE ON EARTH is very interesting, somewhat of an omniscient, forecasting narrator. Can you tell us about that decision?

    Alice Hoffman: Interesting question, because it doesn't feel like a decision. When I write the book, the voice comes to me. HERE ON EARTH is about a whole town, so the voice telling the story has to know pretty much everything about that town.


    Amy G. from UT: Do you believe in extraterrestrial life? Friend or foe?

    Alice Hoffman: I am ready to believe.


    Babette from University of Virginia: Do you read Márquez? Borges? I personally find Latin American literature to be the most challenging of categorical genres.

    Alice Hoffman: I have read both of those writers, and I think they are doing some very interesting work. Maybe it is my bias, but I have a bias for North American women writers.


    Pauly Davidoff from Massachussetts: Have you ever appeared online before? What do you think about the Internet in relation to book sales and discussions?

    Alice Hoffman: I have been online, but I have to say, I am not online myself. Personally I tend to get addicted to things, and I am afraid I might get addicted online instead of writing my book.


    Jeffrey from Haverford, PA: I'm curious to know how much of your day consists of writing. Do you write every day? For how long?

    Alice Hoffman: When I am working on a book, I write very early in the morning for a couple of hours; then I write on and off all day till about 3. But when I am working on a book, I am very involved; I carry it around with me even when I am not working on it.


    Moderator: Thanks again for spending time with us today, Alice Hoffman. We hope you'll come back and visit online with us again. Any final remarks before we go?

    Alice Hoffman: Well, I just wanted to thank you for inviting me to be here today, and thanks to my readers.


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    • Posted December 13, 2008

      Morose Without Redemption

      Disappointed with this book. Had high expectations. A little Wuthering Heights but in reality I could no more sympathize with the main heroine than I could with the hero.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted May 2, 2011

      Have to agree with the previous post

      I was getting into it until around the middle when it turned into Wuthering Heights. Pretty much the exact same story.... really is there nothing else to write about?

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted February 22, 2014

      Beautiful....as are all of Alice  Hoffman's  amazing, magical bo

      Beautiful....as are all of Alice  Hoffman's  amazing, magical books are.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 9, 2013

      Disturbing and thought provoking

      First rate story. Beautiful prose

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 31, 2013

      Love this book!

      This exceptionally well written book is an update of Wuthering Heights with a twist. It is the story of March (CATHY) returning to her hometown after being in California for many years. Once home, she meets up with Hollis (HEATHCLIFF). Will she embrace her second chance at a first love?

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    • Posted January 2, 2013

      more from this reviewer

      Just ok

      Just ok

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 11, 2012

      Not her best

      But good for some mindless reading

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 24, 2012

      Not a fan

      This was the first book that I read by Alice Hoffman. I haven't decided yet whether it will be my last. Usually a book that was on the Oprah book club list is a homerun. I did not care for this book. The charaters were weak and pathetic. The storyline didnt flow and there were a lot of "dead ends" to several plots. The particular edition that I read contained both spelling and grammatical errors.I may give something else of hers a try. Perhaps something newer.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 31, 2011

      I love this book! I totally recommend it!

      I read this book when I was 14 or 15 yrs. young, (: I've always enjoyed reading, but for some reason I couldn't close this book. I would read to late hours of the night under my sheets with a hand flash light! When my husband got me my nook the first book I ever bought was this one! Great job to Alice Hoffman!

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    • Posted February 14, 2011

      give me a break-

      wuthering heights is the original and much better done-

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    • Posted October 30, 2010

      more from this reviewer

      Heartbreaking love story

      Makes me think of a modern take on Wuthering Heights.. except the characters are a lot easier to like and relate to in this book. I loved every part of this story!

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    • Posted August 19, 2010

      I Also Recommend:

      modern day version of Wuthering Heights

      This book is great for young people that would not understand or appreciate Wuthering Heights. Almost everything from this story is taking from Emily Brontë. The only difference being the ending. If that romance ended differently, this is how it would have ended. I bet this would be great if one was going to compare the two in a book club or in a school setting. So, if you were upset about how Brontë ended her novel, then pick this up and give it a go. I enjoyed it but it just wasn't original.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 2, 2008

      A Creative Passionate Novel ****

      Alice Hoffman,the author of Here on Earth really grabs you by her moving novel and first she touches your emotion by ger character March, who is in her late 40s, and going back to her past by taking a trip to her old town Fox Hill where she grew up. March is attending a furneral of a dear friend, Judith Dale who, took care of her when she was growing up. She brings along her daughter Gwen, who at the time is a teenager or should I say a rebellious one at that.<BR/>This is a powerful story of March's journey into her past and her connection with lost friends while embracing a love that was somehow buried inside of her, however it would soon turn into be a serious encounter that would also change her in a way she would never dream of.<BR/>Gwen would also be changed by her mothers decisions, and she would discover a passionate romance that would make her reflect on her old ways<BR/>and, meanwhile a husband and father wait in California for the outcome of these events of, his wife and daughter returning to Fox Hill.<BR/>These cahracters lives are teansformed by this event which brings love and sorrow with it, yet this story had me at the end of my seat with the reflective and imaginative tone. Here on Earth will leave you in the end with a bizarre twisting turn that with spark your minds curiosity a must read!

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    • Posted November 1, 2008

      more from this reviewer

      Different

      This book was interesting. However, I couldn't connect with the characters.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted May 7, 2006

      Real Life

      I was bored At lunch when I was at work, The book caught my eye so I started reading it and couldnt put it down. I could relate with March because Im in my fortys and think about past loves and also have a fifteen year old daughter with the same attitude. I think March should of put her daughter first but she didnt and look were it got her. The book just proves there is romance after 40. I just loved it!! and so do my friends.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 28, 2006

      A Fan and avid reader

      I found this book on accident. I couldn't put it down. March and her lover were real. Most people in real life are selfish. It's a 'be careful what you wish for story'. I loved it and now I'm a big fan.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 15, 2006

      Hated it!

      I have never read Alice Hoffman's work before, so I'm not at all familiar with it. But... I hated this book! The main character, March, is one of the weakest, most selfish characters I have ever come across in a novel. I just wanted to shake her and tell her to get over it already! The only reason I gave it one star is because I thought that the subplot with the daughter was interesting and the only reason I even finished the book (aside from hoping that maybe, just maybe, March would wake up and stop being so idiotic!) was to see what happened to her.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted September 28, 2005

      good story but dumb characters

      The story is okay, passable which still made me turn the pages. The problem here are the characters, they're all selfish. March is a character that you would want to knock in the head, she lets herself wallow in her lust rather than giving importance to the family that she has. Gwen's character is centered on knowing herself, she doesn't even mind to stop her mom from ruining their family, she doesn't even showed a slight hint that she cared for her family. It's sad because there are really family who suffers in this kind of situation but I think those ones are just people too selfish to think of others.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted May 11, 2005

      'Wuthering Heights' Rip-Off

      Save yourself the time (and agony) of plodding through this book with it's annoying, unlikeable characters and read 'Wuthering Heights'. There is no imagination or talent here. The author simply took a classic piece of literature and ruined it.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 16, 2005

      Great book!

      I love Alice Hoffman. I think she is an outstanding author with a unique writing style. I love all of her books and this one was a book I was unable to put down. I really recommend this book to anyone who loves to read.

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