Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

If Jodi Picoult's stories seem incomplete to you as they do to me, if Laurie Anderson's award winning book Speak is just too shallow then give this one a try.
As young girls the Story sisters were close, so close they had their own private language and their own private fairy land. They loved tomatoes, Paris where their grandmother lived, Ice Cream their ama's chestnut tree, their hawthorn tree. Elizabeth known as Elv, the eldest, told wondrous stories about the land until one fateful day. Elv was a teenager, the younger girls not quite when she rescued the youngest and suffered for it. Elv blamed herself, she was no good. Claire blamed herself, it was her fault, she had run. Elv became dark and mysterious, her stories became horror stories. She escaped down the hawthorn tree late at night, drank, did drugs, was put in a school for delinquent teens to be reformed, met her soul mate and escaped. Her life continued out of control. Claire and Meg avoided her. They grew interested in horses, music, reading and forgot the magical world. There is another tragedy in which Claire again blames herself and becomes silent. And, still more tragedy. Resilient girls struggle with the wise help of those who love them and there is hope. This is a lyrical, redeeming story of sisters' love for each other, mothers' love for their children, love between man and woman and, grandmother for grandchildren. JDW 1/10

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