Hoffman once again creates magic through descriptive prose, placing you in the schoolroom with Stella, watching in horror as a fishbone protrudes from the throat of her approaching teacher. Then, in a cab on the way home, she must turn from the driver to avoid seeing his large tumor, so clearly visible in his skull.
To me, this novel served to ask the reader two larger questions: When do you decide not to trust someone you love? and Can you regain the trust of those you love in order to create a different future for yourself, when you've made grave and hurtful errors?
Loved this book! The characters are so good. I really hated to see it end. It is about the relationship between mothers and daughters during the years when a child is trying to become a woman and discovers she has been granted a special gift that has been handed down for generations. Each daughter on her 13th birthday receives a unique gift and it doesn't always seem like a blessing. Each one has a gift that sets them apart from all others. Combine that with trying to become an adult and trying to establish your own personality and it's fascinating and oh, so hard. I highly recommend this book! I will be looking for other books by this author.
First of all, the current murder plays very little in the story. It really functions to being the whole family back together in Unity, the Sparrows hometown, which was fine with me, but if a reader were looking for a good conclusion to that side plot, it isnt here.
Each of the women has a gift or curse, depending on how you look at it. Stella, as we learn early, can see peoples deaths. She deals with it surprisingly well, actually, and she more than either of the other women, makes good use of her gift.
I loved this book. Jenny and Elinor have been estranged for years. Jenny has managed to drive a wedge between herself and Stella, despite how much she didnt want to.Through the book, though, all three of them grow, learn to see the world and each other in different ways. They also learn about love, both for family and for the men in their lives.
Also, this is a spring book, beginning in March and ending in May. It is full of new beginnings, finding true love, and some losses, too. I have to admit that I needed a few tissues toward the end, just a warning.
This book was written with such vivid description, I felt like I was right there in the house...I wish I was right there in the house. These women's ives were so clorful and full of mystery, I couldn't wait to find out the details of it all!
I absolutely loved this book. In many ways it reminded me of the classic little women. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves intricate stories woven over many years with ample parts love, mystery, some suspense and the goodness of people sometimes hidden or covered with pain over many years.
beautiful. Hoffman's typical themes of magic and optimism are present in the story.
i like Hoffman a lot, how she tells the story from multiple points of view, slipping seamlessly from character to character. i also love how her characters always learn from their mistakes, and how loss and disappointment lead to happier times.
The Probable Future opens in familiar Alice Hoffman territory: in a New England town, Jenny Sparrow frets over the legacy her daughter Stella will receive upon waking on her thirteenth birthday. All Sparrow woman - and they are all women - find their one "talent", always something magical or supernatural, on this day. The first Sparrow, Rebecca, could not feel pain while Jenny's mother Elinor can instantly detect a lie. Jenny herself dreams other people's dreams. In true Hoffman fashion, the gift Stella receives affects not only the direction of her life but of those who love her - Jenny, Elinor, Jenny's errant ex-husband Will; Will's brother Matt; Liza, the owner of the town tea house; Hap, Stella's new best friend; and Brock Stewart, Elinor's doctor and companion.
While parts of this novel are groaningly familiar, Hoffman deftly moves from these moments to something more solid and truthful. The author has her own gift, that of confident narration. Her characterizations are memorably detailed, with the portrayal of Brock Stewart perhaps the most touching I have encountered in her fiction. Unlike in Turtle Moon and Practical Magic, the magic realism here is not as much a crucial part of the story as it is an overlay. Even though Stella's gift does prompt a journey back to the Sparrows, the reasons seem forced and the action unnecessary. This story would be every bit as moving without the Sparrow women's gifts, fireflies that ignite, and bees that demand politeness. Some fans might be disappointed by the lack of seamless integration of magic and realism in this novel, but others will be thankful the author did not force it upon a story which has its most honest moments between ordinary people. Love and the author's literary expressions of its intricacies figure heavily, verging on sentimentality, but again, Hoffman seems to instinctively know when to abandon this direction just her writing is in danger of becoming maudlin.
Turtle Moon and Practical Magic remain Alice Hoffman's most inventive novels; however, The Probable Future has its own charms. Quiet, loving, and upbeat, this novel is more likely to appeal to women than to men.
The author has her own gift, that of confident narration. These are well-drawn characters who often inspire, simultaneously, the desire to give them tea and crackers and the desire to knock their heads together, with the portrayal of Brock Stewart perhaps the most touching.
Some fans might be disappointed by the lack of seamless integration of magic and realism in this novel, but others will be thankful the author did not force it upon a story which has its most honest moments between ordinary people.
Reconciliation and forgiveness are the main themes of the novel: about the need to forgive each other, forgive oneself and forgive past wrongs that have been carried down through generations. It is also about the transforming power of love. Hoffman contains her themes within an intricately weaved story that wraps around you like a warm blanket. It is a wonderful story of family love and the relationships between mothers and daughters.
I loved this book about family, history and magic. Each character has a rich story to tell and Hoffman gives them the space to tell it.
This was an absolutely wonderful story about the lives of 3 generations of women in a family and the love, history, memories and tradgey they go through.
A great novel full of magic and a bit of mystery.
Good, but not great. Enjoyable, but predictable.
I liked the (fictionalized) historical backstory, the themes of forgiveness and family relationships. I wasn't crazy about how conveniently everyone paired up and the conflicts were resolved, although I suppose that's to be expected in this genre.
I loved this book. In typical Alice Hoffman fashion, it includes wonderful descriptions and development of characters about which the reader actually cares.
Even with the fantasy in this book I felt it compelling. A story of loving & acceptance. The author does a lot of descriptions in her writing is my only objection to the book. I've read other by this author & found that to be the norm. Rather she would spend more time on story itself.
This is a very sweet and charming book. It was nice for me to read something joyful for a change since my usual reads are very dark. Alice Hoffman does not disappoint.
The Probable Future was a bewitching novel that captures your attention and doesn't release it until you finish the last page. It forces a person to ask many philosophical questions of themselves. I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down once I'd started it. When I wasn't reading it, I found myself thinking about it, and where the story was going. I reccomend this book to people who are looking for a novel that examines relationships and throws a little magic in for good measure.
this is a great book - a quick and interesting read. story of three generations of women in a small new England town and their relationship with two brothers. story moves quickly , holds your interest and has a nice ending . highly reccomend toanyone who like Alice hoffman .
I just love Alice Hoffmans' books, always a little bit of the mystical, always a lot about life and human relationships.
I love Alice Hoffman and this book is wonderful!
A bewitching story of gifted women unlucky at love.
A fantastic book -- Just like all of her books!
Wonderful premise but didn't like the characters and this spoiled the book for me.
A story of a family of women with supernatural gifts. Really enjoyable.
Excellent book! I will be reading more of this author!
Fun read with interesting and magical characters.
I really enjoyed The Probable Future, I thought the plot was good as was the writing. Here's a description:
"The women of the Sparrow family have lived in New England for generations. Each is born in the month of March, and at the age of thirteen, each develops an unusual gift. Elinor can literally smell a lie. Her daughter, Jenny, can see peoples dreams as theyre dreaming them. Granddaughter Stella, newly a teen, has just developed the ability to see how other people will die. Ironically, it is their gifts that have kept Elinor and Jenny apart for the last twenty-five years. But as Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance, the unthinkable happens: One of her premonitions lands her father in jail, wrongly accused of homicide. The ordeal leads Stella to the grandmother shes never met and to Cake House, the Sparrow ancestral home full of talismans and fraught with history. Now three generations of estranged Sparrow women must come together to turn Stellas potential to ruin into a potential to redeem."*
*From the back of the book The Probable Future
The women shine as usual but great male characters too
Alice Hoffman is a genius of a writer.
This book follows the family of the Sparrow woman and their unique gifts. A good read. Covers are torn, but book itself is in great shape.