Blackbird House PDF/EPUB Ú Paperback

Blackbird House PDF/EPUB Ú Paperback

  • Paperback
  • 225 pages
  • Blackbird House
  • Alice Hoffman
  • English
  • 17 February 2016
  • 9780345455932

10 thoughts on “Blackbird House

  1. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    Places have much greater permanence than people Land exists for eons now don’t get picky about ocean fronts migrating and the Big Island expanding You know what I mean whereas people last mere generations and often much less On the surface at least Blackbird House is a novel of place in which the Blackbird House of the title is the stage and each short story offers characters who play across it There should be a name and probably is but I just do not know it novel in stories or linked stories maybe for so called novels that are comprised of linked short stories Maybe as this one is about a house it could be a building roman This is a form Hoffman employs rarely Her later book The Red Garden does exactly the same thing watching the lives that intersect a place over time But she usually writes novels in a traditional format Alice Hoffman image fr0m the Early Bird BooksHoffman is very easy to read Her characters are interesting and engaging and I almost always want her people to persist beyond the pages of their particular tale Sometimes they cross from one story to the next and it is always a wonderful thing The Blackbird House of the title was built in 18th century Cape Cod at a time when the British were enforcing a blockade Many of the locals were seafaring folk fishermen mostly John Hadley a fisherman and builder of the Blackbird House who had planned to live a safer existence as a farmer is at sea with his two sons hoping for one last end of season haul when a sudden storm erupts leaving only one survivor Well one human survivor Young Isaac had taken along a blackbird that he had raised from a chick and that blackbird makes it back home This being Alice Hoffman the bird not only made it back but had turned white supposedly from having touched sea foam And so it beginsOdd events take place in Hoffman’s magical universe Pilot whales beach en masse the voices of those not uite passed seem to be singing; a shipwreck survivor’s hands are marked by the copper bands of a barrel that had saved him rumors of a serpent arise; the white blackbird puts in an appearance in every story a stand in for or reminder of the title house or maybe a reminder of an existential crisis for one of the characters maybe just the spirit of the place; the color red seems to seep from the earth itself a giant fish saves a shipwreck survivor then takes payment by biting off one of the man’s legs The man spits up fish teeth for the rest of his days In other words a typical Alice Hoffman magical almost fairy tale book What funThe stories traverse two hundred years and touch on some of the darker sides of our history A poor woman seemingly targeted by God or nature for particularly harsh treatment manages to survive somewhat addled and the townies see her as a witch with the accompanying shunning This is New England after all As a summer resident of the Cape for 25 years by the time Blackbird House was published Hoffman had a pretty good familiarity with the environment that informs her stories This supported her tendency to ground this work with aspects of the land itself In a relatively sere landscape in which most local soil is not good for much the land on which the Blackbird House sits stands out Early on the property is planted with a pear tree that produces red fruit Sweet peas and sweet turnips planted in an early story feed characters in subseuent tales Several characters manifest unusual extreme connections to nature One resident adds a bit of cannabis to the local flora but that remains mostly out of sight in following tales Several characters seem to have a rapport with the land that would make Tom Bombadil proud Loss is a permanent resident From the widow of the opening piece to Ruth in The Witch of Truro who loses her parents to smallpox and her home to fire and in a later story her husband; love is sought sometimes found often lost This collection of stories has enough instances of loss and subseuent salvation that it could easily have been titled Lost and Found on the Cape These are mostly tales of strong women A few male characters get their moments in the spotlight but it is primarily a female’s stage Having to overcome misfortune having to struggle against nature ignorance fear lost hope these women struggle to survive whether that means doing in an abusive spouse shearing off locks to aid in disguising as a man and joining the army taking up residence with a one legged blacksmith just to have a roof over her head battling cancer enduring years of abuse suffering with loneliness struggling to gain the affection of a man Hope does battle with despairHoffman offers a bit of mirroring in her front and back The opening story has a 10 year old drowning at sea and another young lad comes to a dark end in the final pages This may have a root in Hoffman's personal experience Hoffman bought an old Cape Cod house that was supposedly haunted by the ghost of a 10 year old who had drowned During the writing of some of these stories Hoffman was enduring chemo for cancer In fact while she was being treated she met a neighbor a girl who was also being treated That she incorporated into her story such earth bound symbols of regeneration the pear tree the turnips seems like no accident in light of that Nor do the repeated struggles with misfortune that her characters endureAlice Hoffman has written many wonderful novels Whether one considers this a true novel or some other form of literature The Blackbird House is an engaging fascinating and satisfying read combining the grounding of earth with flight of fantasy in short the work of a master of her craftEXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal and FB pagesOther Hoffman books I have reviewed Local Girls Green Angel The Red Garden The Ice ueen The Dovekeepers The Rules of Magic

  2. PorshaJo PorshaJo says:

    Rating 35I was looking for a short audio while waiting on another book I saw this one on Hoopla and knew I had to listen to it I'm a fan of Alice Hoffman and always enjoy getting to another book of hers When I first started it said there are 11 narrators WHAT??? But there are 11 stories each one narrated by a different person It was done very wellThis is a series of 11 stories that are interlinked in some way Each story is uniue Sometimes a story ends rather uickly and you find out what happens through the next story I know many people of not fans of this type of story but I just love it Some of the stories really stood out such as 'The Conjurers Handbook' about a young man falling in love with a Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust Each story has some common theme a house a blackbird or whitebird the color red love family and This book is uite similar to her book The Red Garden a series of interlinked stories but this one was about a town Side note I did review this one but it's magically disappeared What's up with GR lately????Anyway another fun read from Hoffman and a uick audio that kept me interested in hearing What I love about Hoffman's books is that they are all so different and comforting

  3. Mark Mark says:

    Once again the curse of GR website swallowed a review So screamingly annoying that the laptop almost was thrown across the room However I am determined that Alice Hoffman will receive the praise she is due for this lovely book so I shall do the whole bloody thing again Goodreads I truly hate you sometimesThis collection to use a somewhat contrived metaphor is like a number of small coloured stones or polished glass strung together to create a simple but very effective thing of beauty By themselves none of the stories blew me away but linked by their common theme they were astounding The common theme is love but in its myriad of forms and across some 200 years of local history not following a single bloodline family but rather by exploring the lives loves and it has to be said freuent deaths of the inhabitants of a narrow spit of land Hoffman uses the healthy energising transforming love found in all areas of life but she also explores the way love can become misshapen and grindingly destructive She reflects on the ability of lovers to overcome and survive and she recognizes the way love can embitter and stunt Love she says is necessary for life but of itself it is not magic it still needs moulding and controlling Love is freeing and can be transformative of the life of the one who is loved but that transformation has to be the by product not the intention These stories are linked overtly by their geography and by the over riding theme of love but they are also less obviously linked by the run of characters The stories are self contained reflections but they are often left open ended where the resolution first can grow in the imagination of the reader but then is revisited in the next story sometimes through obvious associations but sometimes by a chance detail left camouflaged by the side of the path of the next story as it takes the reader deeper on into the history of the land You could also miss it but after a few pages of Hoffman's style you swiftly become accustomed to uote the flyleaf her heartbreaking clarity With a few of the stories the denoument pierces the reader as it spears down like a damoclean sword which you knew was hanging precariously You knew of this threat because it needs to be faced that Hoffman rejoices if that is the right word in the bleak sorrow of the death not so much of love as the lover All her stories bring us into the atmosphere of the vulnerability and fragility of life Indeed every time I opened one of the stories i began looking for the likely corpse at the end It reminded me rather of the game my brothers and I used to enter into in the 1970's whilst watching Star Trek 'Spot the bit actor who had no chance of returning to the Starship Enterprise with a pulse Admittedly that was never very difficult it was the bloke you had never seen before whereas in Hoffman's creations you wait rather nervously for the inevitable if unknown victim So her stories are sad they are poignant reminders of the need to work at love to never take it for granted but also to make sure you rejoice in it when it comes And it is that power to enlarge and enhance life which I take from this collection None of the stories are histrionic none of them are miserable for the sake of misery she is not so much a Prophet or Oracle of doom as she is a pointer to live the opportunities offered This is the first of her work I have read I cannot imagine and I most certainly hope it will not be the last I closed the book with the last simple image in my head and it made me smile The final impression with which you leave this small world of hers is one of hope and possibility Lovely

  4. Dani Peloquin Dani Peloquin says:

    I have to be honest I read this book months ago but was unable at the time to find the words to describe this novel I just have to start by saying that it is one of the best novels I have ever read in my life and I clearly read a lot Previous to reading Blackbird House I had never picked up an Alice Hoffman novel I knew that she had written Practical Magic and some other novels in the same vein and I thought that she wouldn't be my kind of author However when I cracked the spine on the Blackbird House I wanted to slap my own wristIt is very difficult to adeuately explain this novel because it is very simple and yet some of the stories are uite complex Basically the novel is made up of short stories those of you out there who don't like short stories don't run away yet about a house on Cape Cod that was built in the 1700s There are twelve stories in the novel and each describes a new generation of the house as it is bought sold and passed down through certain generations The stories follow the characters but only as it relates to the house The true development of the book is that of the house and the times that surround each generation of owners Each owner brings a part of themselves the property which allows the house to grow with its inhabitants There is no climax or enthralling events the true satisfaction comes with the unveiling of each person and the mark they leave on the houseI simply adored this book I thought that it was beautiful in every way The characters were not always likable but they were real which I believe is far important The atmosphere was almost tangible and I felt completely engrossed with each tale There isn't a single story that I could pin point as my favorite because they were all splendidly written This is a book that I will certainly go back to over and over again and urge others to do the samewwwiamliteraryaddictedblogspotcom

  5. Amanda Amanda says:

    The title for this book according to Good Reads indicates that this is a novel and in a way it is But it's of a series of short stories all centered around a house haunted by a white blackbird the pet of a young boy lost at sea with his father With each story Hoffman paints a picture of a new generation living in the house Each story is different and special in its own way There's tragedy love hopeall things found in abundance in all of Hoffman's novels threaded through several stories to make one coherent timeline of events I have to generally be in the mood for short story books Sometimes my mind can't switch from one plot to another in such a short amount of time though sometimes I need the switch when I'm feeling too ADD to read a full novel This one was easy to follow Each story links to the other so even though the plot changes there's still a continuity that gives it an easy literary flow Full of great imagery and the prominent color of red coloring the description this was a truly great book well written poignant and perfect for a rainy day

  6. Connie G Connie G says:

    The gorgeous cover drew me to Blackbird House and this book of twelve interwoven short stories did not disappoint me The stories are set on a small farm in a fishing village on Cape Cod from the 18th Century to the present time Residents of the Blackbird House have experienced many challenges in life and deep love that makes it all worthwhileLike many of Alice Hoffman's works this book has elements of magical realism There have been sightings of the ghost of a young boy lost at sea and his pet blackbird whose feathers turned white after the violent storm All of the emotions that make us human were on display in these impressive stories love loss fear hope and contentment

  7. Obsidian Obsidian says:

    The only reason why I didn't give this collection 5 stars is that not all of the stories grabbed me the same way as The Red Garden Also though there is the linkage of the Blackbird House we have so many loose endings with the people who come and live in that house I loved The Red Garden because many of the people in those stories popped up as young children and then as adults or were referred to in some way so you know what happened to them That said I thought the magical realism of the blackbird that turned white and the young boy who lost him was sad and a perfect book to read around Halloween The Edge of the World 5 stars The first story tells you how the Blackbird House was built by the Hadley family and the tragedy that left Cora Hadley alone planting her garden and wishing for the return of her husband and two sons after a disastrous sea voyage We also get to see how the youngest son Issac came across a blackbird that refuses to leave his side The Witch of Truro 45 stars A young woman named Ruth who has a magical way with cows loses her father and mother in a fire The young woman is thought to be a witch due to her red shoes and is eventually left to live with a young man who went to see and was almost killed by a fish Something ties them together Besides Blackbird house we also get to hear how a tree that only bears scarletred fruit came to be planted here The tree is referenced in some of the stories that followsThe Token 3 stars This is one of the few short stories that follows what happened to a previous characters We have Ruth's oldest daughter in this one narrating the story of what happened to her mother after the death of her father It was a solid story I thought I just got bored by it and RuthInsulting the Angels 4 stars This one has no ties to anyone in the previous stories It follows a young man named Larkin who comes across an older woman named Lucinda Parker who is left with no choices I don't want to spoil this but I was surprised at how Hoffman handled this and the ending with Larkin and how he came to be the next owner of Blackbird HouseBlack is the Love of my True Love's Hair 3 stars So this was another story that follows someone through two stories in this collection We have a young girl named Violet who has a birthmark covering her face that leaves her feeling ugly and unwanted When a young man comes to the town to investigate a possible monster she finds herself drawn to him and focused on ways to keep him there Lionheart 3 stars I thought this was an interesting story Violet is now married and has 7 children Her favorite is her oldest though that she has named Lion Violet loves Lion as much the same way she loved his father I think this story is an interesting look at the secrets that families keep I just though that this one and the next story should have been combined The ending of this one kind of falls flatThe Conjurer's Handbook 5 stars Lion's son Lion Jr and how he meets a woman in one of the darkest places after War World II and how this woman Dorey has some magic of her own Lion becomes obsessed with Dorey and marries her though frets how his grandmother Violet is going to take to her When Lion and Dorey return to Blackbird House though Violet is focused on putting Dorey through trials to see if she deserves her grandsonThe Wedding of Snow and Ice 5 stars This one has a definitive date in it 1957 A new family lives in Blackbird House the Farrells and you get to see once again the secrets a family can keep about themselves and their neighborsIndia 35 stars This one didn't really grab me the way the other stories did India follows a young woman who narrates how her family came to live in Blackbird House She and her brother are both desperate to get away from their parents who are into living off the land and not working It leaves their children often hungry and cold though I think in the end you are supposed to think about how you never really know anyone but I thought the parents in this story were kind of terribleThe Pear Tree 3 stars Another family the Stanleys have bought the Blackbird House and use it as a summer house It's a sad story and I wish I had liked it it just didn't grab me at all The Summer Kitchen 35 stars This story is one that follows the last family I think that will live in Blackbird House Sam and Katherine buy this home after dealing with their daughter Emma who is recovering from her bought of cancer and chemotherapy Katherine is worried that she and Sam are falling apart from each other but the house draws them in Having the home as a summer getaway though draws Katherine closer to Emma but farther apart from her son Walker I get why Walker is a bit of a jerk I just didn't like him at all in this story Wish You Were Here 45 stars This follows Emma all grown up and divorced Her parents give her Blackbird House and she thinks about selling it However something about the house calls to her and brings her back to a sense of her self she hasn't felt for years

  8. Paloma *The Romance Queen* Paloma *The Romance Queen* says:

    I think I've never read anything so completely perfect This book was so multifaceted so enchanting magical binding freeing gut wrenchingI've always meant to read Alice Hoffman I just never go around to it But I did and now I understandYou know your going to read something that's going to change your life when the first sentence leaves you breathless I mean seriously it was perfect the syntax was perfect every sentence that she crafts could stand alone as a poemThis particular book appealed to me because I love magical realism and also because I live in New England and though I live here its elusive in a way so out or reach to me The traditions the history isolate me in the same way that they make me feel part of something And reading this really helped to remind me of why I appreciate this little corner of the worldThis book is told in the span of a hundred years they all involve this house that was built by a fishermen for his wife in the whaling days all of the stories are magical and all feature loveloss and they all conclude in the characters turning point if you will Believe me when I say that it seems as if the characters live on from the twenty something pages each little story is enclosed inI'm not going to say I have a favorite because they were all eually riveting but I will include a uote that stood out than the others for some reason It's from the story Black is the color of my true love's hairI read books as though I was eating apples core and all starved for those pages hungry for every word that told me about things I didn’t yet have but still wanted terribly wanted until it hurtI just finished this book and once I closed the last page I help up the book to my cheek to see if I could feel it pulsing It truly did seem to beat and pulse with sweet pea scented blood

  9. Jessika Jessika says:

    This being my first read by Alice Hoffman I must say I think I've found a new author to add to my favorites list I'm absolutely itching to go out and read everything else she's written What I loved the most about Alice Hoffman's writing was her style It was absolutely phenomenal Between her use of words and her descriptions I was there This is definitely one of those books that you just want to soak up and enjoy the words However for being a book that at times reads almost like poetry this was a uick read I stretched it out over a few days just to make it last I was pleasantly surprised by this book in particular because the story of the various occupants of Blackbird House is told through interconnected short stories I'm not usually into that format Let's face it not many authors can pull that off well without telling a completely disjointed tale I loved all of the stories and I felt a connection to each character and their situations I won't lie I didn't want the individual stories to end I wanted to find out what happened to each of the characters But she flows right between stories without confusion of any sort Like I said my only complaint was that I wanted MORE Overall I was very impressed with Hoffman and I'm looking forward to reading by her This would be the perfect book to curl up with on a rainy day

  10. Rachel Rachel says:

    I have been thinking a lot about this book and why I felt the way I did about it I write short stories so this book should have resonated with me I enjoyed the first of the short stories Honestly it was the best one and I wish she had continued on with it or at least with the descendants of the original family I felt invested in their lives When she got to the story of the witch girl in the red shoes she lost me She tried too hard with all the red and while I love beautiful language I felt as if she was whipping me across the face with all her different allusions to red and blood In the modern stories I stopped caring I tried and I so wanted to love this I think if it had even been the story of one family through the generations it would have moved me than it did There were just too many loose ends

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Blackbird House❮Download❯ ➽ Blackbird House ➸ Author Alice Hoffman – Through these interconnected narratives than a dozen men and women learn how love transforms us and how it is the one lasting element in our livesWith incantatory prose that sweeps over the reader lik Through these interconnected narratives than a dozen men and women learn how love transforms us and how it is the one lasting element in our livesWith incantatory prose that sweeps over the reader like a dream Philadelphia Inuirer Hoffman follows her celebrated bestseller The Probable Future with an evocative work that traces the lives of the various occupants of an old Massachusetts house over a span of two hundred yearsIn a rare and gorgeous departure beloved novelist Alice Hoffman weaves a web of tales all set in Blackbird House This small farm on the outer reaches of Cape Cod is a place that is as bewitching and alive as the characters we meet Violet a brilliant girl who is in love with books and with a man destined to betray her; Lysander Wynn attacked by a halibut as big as a horse certain that his life is ruined until a boarder wearing red boots arrives to change everything; Maya Cooper who does not understand the true meaning of the love between her mother and father until it is nearly too late From the time of the British occupation of Massachusetts to our own modern world family after family’s lives are inexorably changed not only by the people they love but by the lives they lead inside Blackbird HouseThese interconnected narratives are as intelligent as they are haunting as luminous as they are unusual Inside Blackbird House than a dozen men and women learn how love transforms us and how it is the one lasting element in our lives 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 homeFrom the writer Time has said tells truths powerful enough to break a reader’s heart comes a glorious travelogue through time and fate through loss and love and survival Welcome to Blackbird House.

About the Author: Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the author of than thirty works of fiction including The World That We Knew The Rules of Magic The Marriage of Opposites Practical Magic The Red Garden the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth The Museum of Extraordinary Things and The Dovekeepers Her most recent novel is The World That We Knew She lives near Boston.