Book Review of Seventh Heaven

Seventh Heaven
Seventh Heaven
Author: Alice Hoffman
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 632 more book reviews


I don't read novels like this one very often but I should probably do so! Alice Hoffman was recommended to me and I happened upon this book at a local thrift store. It was very enjoyable -- being a slice of life from 1959 to 1960, an era that I lived through as a young boy. The novel reminded me a lot of Rabbit Run by John Updike or of Peyton Place, one of my favorites. It definitely does not show the idyllic life of the 50s as portrayed in such TV shows as Leave It to Beaver or Father Knows Best. As I said, it takes place during a year period from 1959 to 1960 in a small bedroom community on Long Island, New York that was built six years previously on what was once a potato farm. All of the houses are the same and it takes the residents some time to get used to the sameness but after six years there are small differences in the lots from landscaping, etc. Suddenly, one of the homeowners dies and the house he lived in is abandoned when his widow moves back to Virginia. The house starts to become overgrown and is taken over by a group of crows! Well the men of the neighborhood band together to try to get the house sold and eventually a young divorcee, Nora Silk, moves in with her two small children. Nora is looked down on by everyone...after all she is divorced, and her young son is bullied by his classmates. My how times have changed since then. The novel peeks into the private lives of the residents and what really takes place behind all of the sameness. It includes the coming of age stories of several of the younger residents and the dissolution of some of their parents' lives. Overall, I really enjoyed this and would recommend it. I'll also be looking to read more of Hoffman.