Audiobook(MP3 on CD - Unabridged)

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Local Girls by Alice Hoffman, Laural Merlington, Aasne Vigesaa

From the New York Times best-selling author of The DovekeepersAlice Hoffman is at her haunting, thought-provoking best with these interconnected stories about a Long Island family, the Samuelsons, and the lessons in survival and transformation that life brings to every family...

"Pulls the reader in effortlessly...Hoffman has the power to make you really laugh and really cry." --USA Today

"Moving and deadpan funny...Epiphanies about passion, pain, and resiliency induce smiles and shivers in equal measure." --Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441812575
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 08/28/2009
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of The Dovekeepers, and several other beloved novels, including, 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.


Boston, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

March 16, 1952

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


B.A., Adelphi University, 1973; M.A., Stanford University, 1974

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Local Girls 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although Alice Hoffman is not for everyone, I have acquired a taste for her style and characters. This book does NOT disappoint. As with all of her works, I was sucked in right away and enjoyed the entire ride. I am always sad to finish her books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book of Alice Hoffman's I have read and I loved it! She makes you feel the characters' joy and sorrow almost as if it were your own, and with such realism that it's hard to imagine it's fiction. It will touch your heart. I only wish the story was longer!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the whole book at work on one shift. I just couldn't stop! I loved it so much I shipped it to my sister in Arizona, who liked it so much she sent it to my sister-in-law, who sent it to my other sister-in-law. I'm not sure where it is now! My sisers all said the same thing... you just can't put this book down until it's finished. Alice Hoffman is an amazing writer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quick read and with no heavy plot, but still this story was touching in its ability to capture the joys and sorrows of life fully lived. The novel covers an approximately ten year period in a young girl's (Gretel's) life where she experiences the disintegration of her parents' marriage, their subsequent divorce and her father's remarriage to a much younger woman. She lives through her mother's battle with cancer and her death, the loss of her brother to drugs, and the upheaval in her relationship with her best friend Jill, when Jill finds herself pregnant and subsequently married in her junior year in high school. Gretel observes her older cousin Margot's repeated attempts and failures (and ultimately success) in searching for love and Gretel suffers her own broken love affair as well. Despite all the sadness, this was a powerful and upbeat little book that pulls at your heartstrings and champions the romantic hopeful nature that takes both a realistic look at life while refusing to give up on hope.
annalise More than 1 year ago
Life is never fair. That is what Gretel and Jill learn while they grow up in Alice Hoffman¿s Local Girls. Gretel¿s family has never been stable, and neither has Jill¿s. Between crazy parents, divorces, death, babies, and the repercussions of each, they learn that life can turn out all right if you have a friend and stick it through. Both girls raised themselves with the help of Margot, Gretel¿s aunt, who chain smokes and never judges. With both their mothers deteriorating, physically and mentally, and no dad that wants to claim them as their own, the girls turn to each other and their romantic high school boyfriends who they hope will change their lives for the better.

Hoffman writes with true eloquence and gripping dialogue. I was instantly pulled into the novel, feeling both girls¿ pain and elations. I was so immersed in Local Girls that I felt Jill and Gretel had been my life-long friends and that I was walking through life with them. This book is perfect for anyone who has an intricate life, or anyone who needs a good read on a lazy Saturday. Beautifully written with so much care, this is another top book for my bookshelf.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Her father divorces her caring mother to marry a younger woman; they move to an upscale part of the neighborhood and can barely be bothered to send the child support check each month. Her once Harvard bound brother takes a turn for the worse when he begins a life of drug use and only comes home to steal money. His best friend, also a good friend of Gretel, disapears. Gret's best friend in the world is pregnant. Her mother suffers a hard life battling cancer. Gretle must survive the endless heartache with only the shoulder of her cousin Margot to lean on. Margot is passionet and in search for love. The book is so involving I read the entire thing in only a couple of hours. It is an easy read but highly recomended by me. It has inspired me to try some more of Alice Hoffman's titles. This was the first of hers I had read and I am hoping for more like this one! This is without a doubt my favorite book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In rich prose leavened with glistening wit and rueful perspicacity Alice Hoffman brings us her 12th novel, Local Girls. Skillfully interweaving a series of related vignettes, offered by alternating narrators, the author divines the hearts and minds of a family plagued by loss yet sustained by love. The Local Girls for whom we come to care are Gretel Samuelson, her mother, Franny, her mother's cousin, Margot, 'who got a divorce last summer and changed the color of her hair to give herself an emotional lift,' and Gretel's best friend, Jill. Franny is also divorced, miserably so, spending her nights on a quilt beside her daughter's bed. Home is Franconia, the suburb in which they were 'doomed to live.' It is here that 12-year-old Gretel and Jill sneak out at night to exact vengeance upon those who have offended them - they write with pieces of coal on a tattle-tale shopkeeper's garage door, pour rancid buttermilk into a strict teacher's garbage cans, and spread paint on the prized car of a father who groped them when they babysat. But despite the rewards of retaliation, as Gretel relates, it was a bad summer. Her brother Jason, handsome, ingratiating, and winner of every science award, is headed for Harvard and a brilliant career. But he changed. In Gretel's words, he 'appeared to have undergone a lobotomy.' He'd 'gotten himself a job at the Food Star, in the deli department, and something had shifted. He was starting to seem comfortable in the deli.' He also grew comfortable with drugs, eventually stealing to support his heroin habit. 'What was happening to our family, anyway?' Gretel asks. Her mother becomes ill; her father remarries. Her home is a shambles; the kitchen gives her the shivers as Margot and Franny are beginning a catering business. 'They had both recovered from cancer scares, failed marriages, and lost hope; in their opinion, dirt could wait. That was also the summer Jill became cynical: 'Before that, before all the sickness and heat, she was the sweetest girl you'd ever met. But lately she saw the dark underside of everything...........Everything was bad news in Jill's opinion. Everything was a game you couldn't win.' So it would seem, for Jill discovers she is pregnant by Eddie, 'the boy that everyone wanted, but not for keeps.' 'Gorgeous and stupid,' he is described as one who hadn't been told the earth was round and thought Abraham Lincoln was a brand of toothpaste. When her mother again falls ill, Gretel 'couldn't help but think that the world was a crueler place than anyone had ever dared to suggest. You might even find yourself believing that fair itself was a meaningless concept, one which would only deceive you, in the end.' Lives spliced with comedy and tragedy are the heart of Local Girls. It is a tribute to the power of family, and the strength of redeeming love. Once again, Alice Hoffman has proven herself to be an outstanding chronicler of life's pitfalls and joys.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never have read an Alice Hoffman book before, but this book took me by suprise. The story was so moving. I cried at the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book at 4:00pm and finished at 6:30pm. A true storyteller, Hoffman intertwines her marvellous gift with characters that never stop giving, to make it an experience you will never forget. A story centered around women, love, and friendhips.
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i closed this book, i said aloud, 'this is the best book i've read in a long, long time.'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Written as only Alice Hoffman can. At once ethereally lyrical and at the same time grounded in the everyday . A truly lovely book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
She had the Family curse. She knew it from the start. She was born with it. Local Girls is about a girl named Gretel Samuelson who goes through a hard life is many emotions. She goes through her mothers divorce, a very cruel neighborhood, and her own brother giving up Harvard for a job at a local Food Star. Her mother dies of cancer and she gets left alone while her best friend is living the life with her husband and two kids. This book is one of the most touching books I have ever read. I recommend this book to readers who think they have it bad because once you read it, you will look at your life a whole lot different. Local Girls is really a message about how you really need to think before you act. There was her brother, Jason who messed up his whole life by choosing to work at the deli department at food star instead of going off to school at Harvard, which he dreamed of since he was in diapers. There is also just being in a family that you know that thing is going to happen by faith. Like when Gretel was in her childhood, she starts to feel the vibe when she lived in a bad neighborhood and her mother gets diagnosis with cancer. But it is really just how you get around it. Gretel lived a horrible life because she did not do anything about it, unlike her cousin Margaret, and doesn¿t realize that her life was horrible until she is so old that she could not change anything. Local girls are about a pour girl named Gretel and how she had to survive her life with so many horrible things happening. When she is a kid, her best friend, Jill, lives right down the street while her brother continues his dream of going to Harvard. Later in high school, her brother graduates but gives up his dream of school and goes and works at Food Star with his dumb girlfriend. She and Jill are still best friends until Jill goes off and marries a dumb guy named Eddie and Gretel gets left alone with Margaret when her mother and brother dies. But soon she would be left alone when Margaret gets married and tries to have a baby. Margaret welcomes Gretel to come live with her until things get better, and she accepts the offer. After a few years, she goes back to Jill¿s house and sees her happy life with her husband and kids. When she spends the night she realizes how good it was when she was young. Local Girls is about a hopeless girl who gets lost in her life when she gets the family curse but doesn¿t try to fix it. This book really gets you to think about how you are so lucky but also makes you feel sorry for all of those people who don¿t have it good. I recommend this book to readers who need the important lesson of how lives your life right.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice Hoffman's Local Girls, is based on the Samuelson family, of the fictional Long Island town of Franconia. Twelve year old main character Gretel Samuelson learns life can be very hard. After the break up of her parents marriage, her mother, Frances, is diagnosed with cancer. Frances' cousin, Margot, moves in to help Frances take care of Gretel and her older brother, Jason. As time goes by, the three of them helplessly watch Jason's life spiral downwards into the world of drugs. Hoffman, wrote this book straight from the heart. Her characters show courage despite a families' misfortune.