Monday, January 01, 2007

Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman

I am already an Alice Hoffman fan (Here on Earth has to be in my all time favourite book list) so I was quite happy to pick up Blackbird House and dive in. I can't say she's a 'feel good' writer, as generally the characters aren't often found smiling, but when I'm feeling a bit emotionally anemic, Hoffman who I find helps me reconnect with my emotions.

In contrast to what else I've read of hers, this novel doesn't follow one character or group of central characters, it follows a house over the course of about 200 years. We learn about romance, loss, family and class in the stories of the people who come to live in the Blackbird house. Her writing conjures up the air and light that is only found near a cold sea and the bleakness of a land left to become wild again. Beautifully written with uncomplicated prose as always. If you like Anita Shreve - this is different, but you'll like it too.

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