“Alice Hoffman is my favorite writer.”
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.
For readers, sniffing out the parallels between the stories slightly obscures one of the pleasures of reverse narrativeits sense of inexorability, of every action tending toward a certain conclusion. Deftly and quietly, Hoffman tucks in the plot strand that ties together her tragic love stories; but following its thread isn't what keeps readers turning the pages. That honor goes to the young Frieda of the novel's middle section, in part because her brave, direct character is more appealing than insecure Maddy and sad, silent Lucy, and in part because she moves in a time and place many of us might have liked to witnessone where fans screamed to have a glimpse of John Lennon and an air of exotic possibility touched even young hotel maids, who, in their thick eyeliner and minidresses, "looked like a horde of Cleopatras when they went out en masse."