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Illumination Night
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'Daringly mixing comedy with tragedy, and the quotidian with the fabulous, she has created a narrative that somehow makes myth out of the sticky complexities of contemporary marriage ... Hoffman writes so simply about human passions that her characters are branded on to one's memory' The New York Times

About the Author

Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of many successful novels and screenplays, including Here on Earth (Oprah Book Club Choice in 1998), Illumination Nights, Turtle Moon, Practical Magic (made into a recent major film), Local Girls and The River King. She lives in Massachusetts.

Reviews

With an eye for household details and respect for daily events, Hoffman (Fortune's Daughter unleashes the mythic forcefulness of ordinary life in this polished story of love and loneliness set on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Simon is in his fourth year and small even for his age when he sees white-robed Elizabeth Renny, a neighbor in her 75th, tumble out her attic window ``like a cloud.'' In her convalescence, Elizabeth is cared for by her rebellious teen-aged granddaughter Jody, sent from off-island. Jody sets her sights on Simon's father, Andre, who restores antique motorcycles, raising doubts and fears in Vonny, Simon's mother, Andre's wife. Elizabeth recovers; Jody pines and plots for the taciturn Andre; Simon doesn't grow; and Vonny's anxieties bloom into full-fledged agoraphobia. Seasons advance. Jody learns the limits of her desires and meets a freakishly tall eggman; a child dies, another grows; Elizabeth decides she'd rather live than die; and Vonny faces her fears. Illumination Night, an annual celebration on Martha's Vineyard when Victorian houses surrounding a park and bandstand are lit with hundreds of magical Japanese lanterns, provides apt title and image for this shimmering, radiant tale. (August 14)

"Alice Hoffman hits bulls-eyes on the incomprehension between the young and the old, of the magic and pain of ordinary life. She is erotic and romantic, funny and clever and humane" -- Philip Howard * The Times *
"A beautiful book. Fresh and dauntless" -- Toni Morrison
"Compelling...Illumination Night is a novel of convincing psychological realism" -- Marge Piercy
"An authentic prose stylist of a high order" * Boston Globe *
"A shimmering, radiant tale" * Publishers Weekly *

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