Book Reviews of Blackbird House

Blackbird House
Blackbird House
Author: Alice Hoffman
ISBN-13: 9780345455932
ISBN-10: 0345455932
Publication Date: 3/29/2005
Pages: 256
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 135 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

34 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Blackbird House on + 376 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Although certainly not her best work, this is Hoffman's typically lyric prose, brimming with metaphor and similie. The stories are engaging enough to hold your interest throughout, but a few I wish she'd written more about, as I'd become a bit more intrigued with the characters than I'd expected to be.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 210 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I love Alice Hoffman and this book didn't dissapoint. It is basically a group of short stories that take place in a 200 yr period in the same cottage in New England. Some of the stories are connected in some way, some are completely different. The book is a quick read but thought provoking. I highly recommend this book especially if you are a Hoffman fan.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Every tale in this wonderful collection of short stories by author Alice Hoffman has one thing in common: each takes place in Blackbird House on Cape Cod. Set in the historically rich fabric of New England, each story revolves around something magical and yet heart-wrenchingly real. The stories span from the Revolutionary War to modern day, and explore the timeless themes of love, betrayal, devastation, exhilaration, death and life.
If you've never read Alice Hoffman, BLACKBIRD HOUSE is an excellent place to start. It gives the reader a wonderful example of just how prolific and talented a writer Alice Hoffman is and how powerfully her writing resonates with her readers
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Helpful Score: 2
Each story was somewhat sad but they are good stories - a few of which I wish were longer.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I didn't really see the point to the collection of stories. I thought that they would all have something in common in the end, but no such luck. Each story seemed more depressing than the first. The tragedies that occurred in the blackbird house were very sad and made me feel sympathetic toward the characters. I don't believe that this was her best book.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 119 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Beautifully, lyrically written, as are all of her books. Each powerful "story" focuses on the inhabitants of a particular house isolated out on Cape Cod through the centuries of its existence. Definitely recommended reading for Hoffman fans!
reviewed Blackbird House on + 410 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
As usual, Alice Hoffman spins a lovely tale. This is a series of vignettes that take place across the centuries, centering around a home that seems destined for sadness by its inhabitants.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If your looking for a quick summer read...this is it!!!

I love thinking about who lived in my house and what their life was like here...hummm
reviewed Blackbird House on
Helpful Score: 1
I don't think I have ever encountered a book where the main character was not a person but a thing. The way this character weaves into each story was incredible. I really enjoyed the book and the progression through time. Definitely a must read.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The stories in this book were interesting but a little confusing, because it is almost a series of short stories, except that some of the people were related and the house was always involved. I kept going back and trying to figure out how people related to each other. It was a good read.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Hoffman's Blackbird House is a different one. I couldn't follow along very well and for that reason I ended up getting lost. Maybe because the back of the book states that the house stays in the family and I'm trying to figure out who's who and what era I'm reading now. It was rough.
reviewed Blackbird House on
Helpful Score: 1
This was a great book. It is really not in my normal genre but once I started I had to finish. I don't do spoilers so I can only say I really enjoyed it
reviewed Blackbird House on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Told in short story format, this novel weaves a tale of the many lives that pass through one house. Some lives are tragic, others inspirational, all touching.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful book! Loved the ending.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 194 more book reviews
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It is just a beautifully written book. A true winner.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 33 more book reviews
From the time of the British occupation of Massachusetts to our own modern world, Hoffman weaves a web of tales centering around a small farm on the outer reaches of Cape Cod. As always, Hoffman is magical.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 4 more book reviews
Great read.
reviewed Blackbird House on
Welcome to Blackbird House - a small farm on the outer reaches of Cape Cod, imbued with as much vitality as the people who live there. For the past two centuries, Blackbird House has stood as a testament to time and the passage of history; a place as bewitching and alive as the characters we meet. There is Violet Cross, a brilliant young woman who is in love with books and with a man who is destined to betray her; Lysander Wynn, attacked by a halibut the size of horse, is convinced that his life is ruined until a boarder wearing red boots arrives to change everything; and Maya Cooper, someone who does not understand the true meaning of the love shared between her mother and father until it is almost too late.

From the time of the British occupation of Massachusetts to present day in our own modern world, for each family that lives within the walls of Blackbird House, their lives are inexorably changed for however long they may stay. Not only by the people they love, but also by themselves and the lives that they lead within Blackbird House. For more than a dozen men and women who have lived inside Blackbird House, they will learn just how much love transforms us and how it is the one lasting element in our lives.

These interconnected narratives are as intelligent as they are haunting, as luminous as they are unusual. In a rare and gorgeous departure, Alice Hoffman weaves a web of evocative tales that becomes a glorious travelogue through time and fate, through loss and love and survival. The past both dissipates and remains contained inside the rooms of Blackbird House, where there are terrible secrets, inspired beauty, and, above all else, a spirit of coming home.

I must admit that I was slightly disappointed in my reading of Blackbird House; but that is only because I wanted more from each story. It felt slightly incomplete to me. I suppose that was because I wanted to know more of a back story with each of the characters, and I had a nagging feeling of being left hanging, wondering what would happen next. In my opinion though, reading this book was certainly still very enjoyable.

In my opinion, each story was beautifully and lyrically written, if somewhat unusual and fantastic in places. I would give Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman a definite A! I have maybe two or three other books by Ms. Hoffman on my bookshelf that I might be interested in reading sometime in the future, but I'll need to search them out. I'm sure they'll turn up at some point.
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Really great linked series of stories about the inhabitants of a New England house
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A very quick read, well-written book of intermingled short stories.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 11 more book reviews
Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors. Blackbird House is a timeline of interwoven lives lyrically written. If you like Alice Hoffman, this one won't disappoint.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 42 more book reviews
An interesting story about families who lived in a house over many generations. An easy read, well written.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 37 more book reviews
A walk through time of the families and communities involved with a small farm home in Cape Cod. Follows the stories through two centuries with many ties from one to the other, giving a close look into personal lives and actions and the justifications behind them. Sadness and loss are mingled with the happy, sometimes bittersweet, moments that make up a life. A quick and interesting read.
reviewed Blackbird House on + 243 more book reviews
excellent novel about a small farm and its relationship to many people
reviewed Blackbird House on + 10 more book reviews
Great book!!!!!!!!!!!! I read it all in two days. This Author knows how to write really interesting stories.
It's about different families and generations who lived in this one house up on the cape. It's amazing house somethings juts never change. The stories are exciting mysterious heartwarming and even a bit scary. You laugh, cry, and wonder what will happen next. It's must if you like to read something definitely NOT BORING!!!!!!!!
reviewed Blackbird House on + 17 more book reviews
The stories in the book entertwine well. Some more interesting than others.
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Set Cape Cod, this book is a compilation of interesting stories that intertwine generations of people, each separate, yet connected by the place they call home.
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An interesting story which begins with the building of a house and details all of the lives and events that have passed through it's doors over the course of two centuries.
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Reading this book, it's a guarantee that there will be passages that stop your breath.
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Not a fan of lshort stories, but these all interrelated to same house/location. Well written, but not my favorite of hers.
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I enjoyed this book, which focuses on the lives of different people (mostly women) who lived in one New England house over a hundred years or so.
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Fine Hoffman, a quick read
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I am a fan of Alice Hoffman. This book was a collection of short stories all set around one particular house in the northeast.
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About the story line: 12 lush and lilting interconnected stories, all taking place in the same Cape Cod farmhouse over the course of generations. Built during British colonial days by a man who dies tragically on a final fishing trip, Blackbird House is home, in the following generation, to a man who lost his leg to a giant halibut. In the late 19th century, Blackbird inhabitant Violet Cross has a brief affair with a Harvard scholar who inevitably betrays her; in the story that follows, she pushes her son, Lion West, to Harvard in 1908, which in turn launches him to lifeand early deathin England. Lion's orphaned son, Lion West Jr., serves in World War II and meets a German-Jewish woman spirited enough to stand up to his possessive grandmother Violet. Hoffman's symbols are lovingly presented and polished: the 10-year-old boy who drowned with his father in the first story sets free a pet blackbird, who returns, now all white, to live with the boy's mother; in the last two stories, a 10-year-old boy blames a white crow for his mischief, and, a generation later, that boy's grown-up sister meets a 10-year-old boy who makes her reconsider selling Blackbird House. Fire, water, milk, pears, halibutthese, too, play important symbolic and sometimes almost magical roles. This may not be the subtlest of literary devices, but Hoffman's lyrical prose weaves an undeniable spell.