Sunday, December 16, 2007

Alice Hoffman, Here on Earth

Alice Hoffman, Here on Earth. Eh. Oprah's book club selections are always at the goodwill and so I end up inadvertently reading lots of them. I don't know how there can be so many fantastic books (which become so popular that I can swoop them up for fifty cents, for which I am grateful) and so many sort of blah books in the same list. I mean, Kaye Gibbons, Jonathan Franzen, García Márquez, and Tolstoy (for goodness sake! who puts Tolstoy in a BOOK CLUB?) right along with such trash as Chris Bohjalian. Oh well, I shouldn't complain about something that gives me a wealth of cheap good used paperbacks. This book certainly wasn't bad, anyway, it just wasn't good. March returns to her home town with her teenage daughter Gwen (now her, I like, but she didn't really pan out)for a funeral after leaving with a broken heart 20 years earlier. She rekindles her affair with her lost love (and sort of step brother) and disastrous consequences ensue, as he turns out to be your standard psycho boyfriend. I don't know, the story started out with such promise: beautiful descriptions, March had depth, there was the potential for a really great love story or reconciliation. But as the plot got moving, the characters sort of fell out of the book and turned into stereotypes. If the book had skipped the last half and taken up after the last page, it might have been more interesting. March's husband had the most potential for a really nuanced player, and all he got was a cameo. The horse was just silly, as was the back story for Hollis (the dangerous lover). And I HATE spunky friends.

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