Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power.
The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.
Alice Hoffman is one of our most beloved writers. Here on Earth was an Oprah Book Club selection. Practical Magic and Aquamarine were both bestselling books and Hollywood movies. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, and People magazine, and her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, and Self.
Now, in The Third Angel, Hoffman weaves a magical and stunningly original story that charts the lives of three women in love with the wrong men: Headstrong Madeleine Heller finds herself hopelessly attracted to her sister’s fiancé. Frieda Lewis, a doctor’s daughter and a runaway, becomes the muse of an ill-fated rock star. And beautiful Bryn Evans is set to marry an Englishman while secretly obsessed with her ex-husband. At the heart of the novel is Lucy Green, who blames herself for a tragic accident she witnessed at the age of twelve, and who spends four decades searching for the Third Angel–the angel on earth who will renew her faith.
Brilliantly evoking London’s King’s Road, Knightsbridge, and Kensington while moving effortlessly back in time, The Third Angel is a work of startling beauty about the unique, alchemical nature of love.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic conconctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape.
One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic...
“Splendid...Practical Magic is one of [Hoffman's] best novels, showing on every page her gift for touching ordinary life as if with a wand, to reveal how extraordinary life really is.”—Newsweek
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Women of the Sparrow family have unusual gifts. Elinor can detect falsehood. Her daughter, Jenny, can see people’s dreams when they sleep. Granddaughter Stella has a mental window on the future—a future that she might not want to see.
In The Probable Future this vivid and intriguing cast of characters confronts a haunting past—and a very current murder—against the evocative backdrop of small-town New England. By turns chilling and enchanting, The Probable Future chronicles the Sparrows’s legacy as young Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance. Her potential to ruin or redeem becomes unbearable when one of her premonitions puts her father in jail, wrongly accused of homicide. Yet this ordeal also leads Stella to the grandmother she was forbidden to meet and to a historic family home full of talismans from her ancestors.
Poignant, arresting, unsettling, The Probable Future showcases the lavish literary gifts that have made Alice Hoffman one of America’s most treasured writers.
Elizabeth Renny has only made two decisions of consequence in her seventy-plus years. While the first, marrying her husband, had adequate results, the second—deciding she could fly from her bedroom window—is less successful. But her flight sets in motion a series of events that will forever change the lives of six residents of Martha’s Vineyard: a young boy who refuses to grow, a wife stifled by her irrational anxiety, a husband tempted by the unknown, a girl flirting with disaster, a gentle giant tortured by his size, and an old woman with nothing to lose.
Praised as “an intelligent novel” by the New York Times and “achingly vivid” by Newsday, Illumination Night is a sparkling and heartbreaking narrative that explores marriage, friendship, youth, yearning, disillusionment, and desire, a book as bright and memorable as the festival of lanterns for which it is named.
Author of The Third Angel
Alice Hoffman’s previous novel, The Third Angel, was hailed as "an unforgettable portrait of the depth of true love" (USA Today), "stunning" (Jodi Picoult), and "spellbinding" (Miami Herald). Her new novel, The Story Sisters, charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and stays there, a detective who finds his heart’s desire, and a demon who will not let go.
What does a mother do when one of her children goes astray? How does she save one daughter without sacrificing the others? How deep can love go, and how far can it take you? These are the questions this luminous novel asks.
At once a coming-of-age tale, a family saga, and a love story of erotic longing, The Story Sisters sifts through the miraculous and the mundane as the girls become women and their choices haunt them, change them and, finally, redeem them. It confirms Alice Hoffman’s reputation as "a writer whose keen ear for the measure struck by the beat of the human heart is unparalleled" (The Chicago Tribune).
From the Hardcover edition.
Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father’s “museum,” alongside performers like the Wolfman and the Butterfly Girl. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.
The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his community and his job as a tailor’s apprentice. When Eddie photographs the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the mystery behind a young woman’s disappearance. And he ignites the heart of Coralie.
Alice Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling to unite Coralie and Eddie in a tender and moving story of young love in tumultuous times. The Museum of Extraordinary Things is, “a lavish tale about strange yet sympathetic people” (The New York Times Book Review).
Born out of sorrow in an ancient time of blood and war, Rain is a girl marked by destiny. Her mother, Alina, is the proud queen of a tribe of female warriors, yet she refuses to touch or even look at her only daughter. So Rain draws on the strength and knowledge of her Amazon sisters to learn the ways of her people: how to carve spoons out of bones, ride her white horse as fiercely as a demon, and shoot an arrow straight into the heart of an enemy.
Determined to win her mother’s love and take her rightful place as the next queen, Rain becomes a brave and determined fighter. But the dream of a black horse clouds her future, portending death. As one devastating battle follows the next, Rain hopes for a different life for her tribe beyond never-ending bloodshed. Peace, mercy, and love, however, are forbidden words in her language—can Rain teach her sisters to speak in a new tongue before it’s too late?
Inspired by Greek legends and recent archaeological discoveries in Russia and Ukraine, The Foretelling is a breathtaking achievement from the bestselling author of The Dovekeepers.
The courage to face the unthinkable is at the core of this magnificent new novel. How do we manage to confront the truths in our lives and find forgiveness in the most unforgiving of circumstances? How do we love truly and deeply in a world that is as brutal as it is beautiful?
When Ethan Ford fails to show up for work on a brilliant summer morning, none of his neighbors would guess that for more than thirteen years, he has been running from his past. His true nature has been locked away, as hidden as his real identity. But sometimes locks spring open, and the devastating truths of Ethan Ford's history shatter the small-town peace of Monroe, affecting family and friends alike.
This deeply felt and compelling novel makes it clear why Alice Hoffman has been called "one of the best writers we have today" (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Honest, shattering, seductive, and ultimately healing, Blue Diary is an unforgettable novel by a writer who tells "truths powerful enough to break a reader's heart" (Time).
People tend to stay in their place in the town of Haddan. The students at the prestigious prep school don't mix with locals; even within the school, hierarchy rules, as freshman and faculty members find out where they fit in and what is expected of them. But when a body is found in the river behind the school, a local policeman will walk into this enclosed world and upset it entirely. A story of surface appearances and the truths submerged below.
On Hemlock Street, the houses are identical, the lawns tidy, and the families traditional. A perfect slice of suburbia, this Long Island community shows no signs of change as the 1950s draw to a close—until the fateful August morning when Nora Silk arrives.
Recently divorced, Nora mows the lawn in slingback pumps and climbs her roof in the middle of the night to clean the gutters. She works three jobs, and when her casseroles don’t turn out, she feeds her two boys—eight-year-old Billy and his baby brother, James—Frosted Flakes for supper. She wears black stretch pants instead of Bermuda shorts, owns twenty-three shades of nail polish, and sings along to Elvis like a schoolgirl.
Though Nora is eager to fit in on Hemlock Street, her effect on the neighbors is anything but normal. The wives distrust her, the husbands desire her, and the children think she’s a witch. But through Nora’s eyes, the neighborhood appears far from perfect. Behind every neatly trimmed hedge and freshly painted shutter is a family struggling to solve its own unique mysteries. Inspired by Nora, the residents of Hemlock Street finally unlock the secrets that will transform their lives forever.
A tale of extraordinary discoveries, Seventh Heaven is an ode to a single mother’s heroic journey and a celebration of the courage it takes to change.
Be careful what you wish for. A woman who was touched by tragedy as a child now lives a quiet life, keeping other people at a cool distance. She even believes she wants it that way. Then one day she utters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks a strange and powerful new beginning.
She goes in search of Lazarus Jones, a fellow survivor who was struck dead, then simply got up and walked away. Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear. When she finds him, he is her perfect opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both hide their most dangerous secrets--what happened in the past that turned one to ice and the other to fire.
A magical story of passion, loss, and renewal, The Ice Queen is Alice Hoffman at her electrifying best.
In 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 House.
These interconnected narratives are as intelligent as they are haunting, as luminous as they are unusual. Inside Blackbird House more 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 home.
From 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.
When Keith Rosen runs away from his Florida home—inexplicably taking along a motherless baby—his mother is perplexed, terrified, and ultimately takes off on her own journey to find him. The story of a divorced woman, her disillusioned teenage son, and the events that change their lives in ways both simple and extraordinary, Turtle Moon follows their path, in a suspenseful, beautifully written story that confirms once again the exquisite talent of Alice Hoffman.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Rae Perry has been in love with Jessup since high school. Two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, they ran away from Boston together and have been moving ever since—five states in seven years. Now they are in Southern California in what they call “earthquake weather,” a time when anything can happen, and Jessup is restless again. This time, Rae fears, he plans to leave without her.
Lila Grey is a fortune-teller. More than a quarter century ago, on a cold and icy night in New York City, she gave birth to a daughter she never saw again. Lila is determined to find her lost child, even if it means an end to her happy life with Richard, the loving husband she refuses to let into her past.
It is Lila who tells Rae she is pregnant—but the other symbol she reads in Rae’s tea leaves, she refuses to reveal. From that moment forward, their fates are inextricably linked. While Rae searches for the strength to navigate an uncertain future alone, Lila sets out to resolve her history once and for all.
This luminous novel, a New York Times Notable Book, is an enthralling tribute to the profound mysteries of motherhood and childbirth from a writer who, in the words of Amy Tan, “takes seemingly ordinary lives and lets us see and feel extraordinary things.”
Esther the Black is eighteen years old and ready to leave the Compound, the collection of cottages on the North Shore of Long Island where she has lived all her life. But as July turns to August and her family braces for the height of Drowning Season, she realizes that she may not be able to escape her family’s legacy.
Her father will find a way through the locked sea-wall gate and try to drown himself in the harbor, her mother will be too hung over to leave her cottage for days at a time, and her grandmother will refuse to say a single kind word.
Esther the White left home when she was just a girl, fleeing her abusive parents across a frozen Russian river with a pocketful of stolen jewels. Life has taught her to be cold and unyielding, but in the heat of another fraught summer at the Compound, she feels her resolve melting away. Cohen, the landscaper and chauffeur responsible for keeping her son out of the water, looks at her with a desire she finds harder and harder to resist. Her granddaughter’s name may be an insult to tradition, but does that mean the poor girl should never feel her grandmother’s love or know her story?
Graceful, haunting, and wise, The Drowning Season “casts the spell of all great fairy tales. It takes daily life and transforms it into myth as we watch” (Chicago Sun-Times).
Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.
The Great Stone Face Award (NH)
Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award (Illinois)
The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Maryland)
“Hoffman reminds us that there are secrets everywhere . . . Nightbird soars.”
—The New York Times
“Alice Hoffman has a gift for melding magic and realism in a way that makes nearly anything seem possible.”
—Shelf Awareness, Starred
“The mix of romance and magic is irresistible.”
What Other Authors Are Saying
“I love the way Alice Hoffman creates the most ordinary people and then turns their lives magical. . . . [Nightbird] is like reentering a wonderful dream that you vaguely remember.” —Lois Lowry, two-time Newbery Medal–winning author of The Giver
"Pulls the reader in effortlessly...Hoffman has the power to make you really laugh and really cry." --USA Today
"Moving and deadpan funny...Epiphanies about passion, pain, and resiliency induce smiles and shivers in equal measure." --Entertainment Weekly
The Red Garden introduces us to the luminous and haunting world of Blackwell, Massachusetts, capturing the unexpected turns in its history and in our own lives. From the town's founder, a brave young woman from England who has no fear of blizzards or bears, to the young man who runs away to New York City with only his dog for company, the characters in The Red Garden are extraordinary and vivid: a young wounded Civil War soldier who is saved by a passionate neighbor, a woman who meets a fiercely human historical character, a poet who falls in love with a blind man, a mysterious traveler who comes to town in the year when summer never arrives.
At the center of everyone’s life is a mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look.
Beautifully crafted and shimmering with magic, The Red Garden is as unforgettable as it is moving.
Things have changed in Fisher’s Cove, the Long Island harbor town where Natalie spent her summers as a girl. The water used to be clean, and from her aunt Minnie’s boarding house you could see all the way to Connecticut even on hazy days. Twenty years ago, Minnie never had a problem finding lodgers—but now everyone wants to be in Montauk or the Hamptons.
The biggest change of all, though, is the nuclear power plant under construction on Angel Landing. Natalie’s boyfriend, Carter, is leading a protest against the plant, and despite the fact that he is more devoted to his environmental work than he is to her, she has followed him to Fisher’s Cove. During the days, she works as a therapist at a local counseling center; in the evenings, she ignores her aunt’s disapproval as she waits for Carter to call. But after an explosion lights up the night sky above Angel Landing, Natalie’s world is turned upside down. Into her office walks a man with an incredible confession to make, and the more she listens, the more Natalie begins to question the direction of her own life. The conclusions she draws—about passion, commitment, and what her heart truly wants—will lead her to a love she never imagined possible.
Told with grace, charm, and wit, Angel Landing is a captivating romance and one of Alice Hoffman’s most delightful novels.
Infused with the rich context of history and faith, in her most profoundly moving work to date, Alice Hoffman's first historical novel is a transcendent journey of discovery and loss, rebirth and remembrance.
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her older husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.
“A work of art” (Dallas Morning News), The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. “Her lush, seductive prose, and heart-pounding subject…make this latest skinny-dip in enchanted realism…the Platonic ideal of the beach read” (Slate.com). Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frédérick “will only renew your commitment to Hoffman’s astonishing storytelling” (USA TODAY).
Survival Lessons provides a road map of how to reclaim your life from this day forward, with ways to reenvision everything—from relationships with friends and family to the way you see yourself. As Alice Hoffman says, “In many ways I wrote Survival Lessons to remind myself of the beauty of life, something that’s all too easy to overlook during the crisis of illness or loss. I forgot that our lives are made up of equal parts of sorrow and joy, and that it is impossible to have one without the other. I wrote to remind myself that despite everything that was happening to me, there were still choices I could make.”
Wise, gentle, and wry, Alice Hoffman teaches all of us how to choose what matters most.
On the Night of the Wolf, the Orphans drive south on the Avenue, hunting their rival gang, the Pack. In the lead is McKay, their brooding, courageous President. Left waiting at the clubhouse is the Property of the Orphans, tough girls in mascara and leather who have declared their allegiance to the crew. Tonight, a new girl has joined their ranks. She waits only for McKay.
Drag races, dope, knife fights in the street. To the seventeen-year-old heroine of Alice Hoffman’s stunning first novel, the gritty world of the Avenue is beautiful and enthralling. But her love for McKay is an addiction—one that is never satisfied and is impossible to kick. Deeper and deeper she falls, until the winter’s day when she decides to break the spell once and for all.
A strikingly original story about the razor-thin line between love and loss, Property Of showcases the vivid imagery, lyricism, and emotional complexity that are the hallmarks of Alice Hoffman’s extraordinary career.
In a lovely old house near the coast of Massachusetts, the Farrells go through the routines of a typical August morning. Eight-year-old Charlie, a junior biologist and dinosaur expert, tries to collect one of his insect specimens. His sister, Amanda, a talented gymnast who at eleven years old is already saving her money to try out for the Olympics, prepares for her last meet of the summer. Ivan, their absent-minded father, is involved with his work as an astronomer. Out in the garden, his wife, Polly, wonders how she can trick her children into eating more zucchini.
They are a family as unique and ordinary as any other, but their world will soon be shattered when Amanda is diagnosed with the disease that has been making headlines lately: AIDS. The new and still-mysterious ailment scares them—and their friends and neighbors as well. In an instant, everything that gave their lives meaning is ripped away, and the intimacy that once came so naturally vanishes. Too overcome with grief to turn to each other, Ivan and Polly seek solace elsewhere. Charlie is abandoned by his best friend and, for long stretches at a time, forgotten by his parents. Amanda, who holds on to her dreams so tightly, must somehow find a way to let go.
Torn apart by the prospect of their loss, Polly, Ivan, and Charlie must find the courage to come back together again—for Amanda’s sake and for their own. At Risk is an exquisite book about true sorrow and even truer devotion.
One of today’s most beloved authors of lyrical fiction with a touch of magic, Alice Hoffman boasts a body of work that has been praised by readers and critics from the very beginning. This collection includes her first novel, plus three more of her outstanding tales.
Property Of: Hoffman’s debut about teenage girls in mascara and leather and their attraction to local toughs is “a remarkably envisioned novel, almost mythic in its cadences” (The New York Times).
The Drowning Season intertwines the stories of two women named Esther: a granddaughter, who yearns to escape the Long Island shore and the coldness of the family matriarch; and her grandmother, who fled her abusive parents in Russia decades before. This novel “casts the spell of all great fairy tales. It takes daily life and transforms it into myth as we watch” (Chicago Sun-Times).
Fortune’s Daughter: A New York Times Notable Book, this luminous novel of a restless young traveler and a fortune-teller with a secret is a tribute to the profound mysteries of motherhood and childbirth from a writer who, in the words of Amy Tan, “takes seemingly ordinary lives and lets us see and feel extraordinary things.”
At Risk is a New York Times bestseller that “will leave few dry eyes” (Library Journal). In 1980s America, a family copes with their daughter’s terrifying AIDS diagnosis.
When Teresa sleeps—sometimes for days at a time, the scent of roses surrounding her—she dreams of the Arias, outlaw riders on white steeds, who roam the desert at night. She was told about the dark-eyed horsemen by her mother, Dina, who left her own bedroom window open at night in the hopes that one would take her away from her parents’ house in Santa Fe.
Teresa, who cannot find a cure for her mysterious sleeping sickness, has one true ally: her brother, Silver. Wild and handsome, Silver exerts an irresistible force over everyone he meets—women especially. He pursues a life of crime and danger, and the older he grows, the more reckless he becomes. Teresa wants to break free but is drawn back to her brother again and again, pulled by the belief that he is the night rider of her dreams. Only when she realizes that she has the strength to save herself will she finally be able to open her eyes and walk away.
A lyrical blend of the mythical and the real, White Horses has been hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as a book that “will reverberate in readers’ imaginations for a long time.”
Each excerpt in Wanderlust is accompanied by a collection of bonus materials intended to enrich your reading experience, including discussion questions, suggestions for enhancing your book club meeting, and author interviews. In the spirit of looking to the horizon, we also asked each author featured in this sampler one question: “What is your favorite travel memory?” Their answers are fittingly diverse—from Christina Meldrum’s summers spent at a family cottage in Lake Margrethe, Michigan, to Alice Hoffman’s inspirational first trip to Masada, the setting of her epic new novel The Dovekeepers. Anuradha Roy, the author of An Atlas of Impossible Longing, describes the lure of armchair travel best: “All readers…carry within themselves sediments of the places they have traveled to in books, the people they’ve met on the way. Therefore the strange déjà vu is when you land in a foreign country and wonder if you’ve been there before.”
So, sit back, relax, and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.
Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.