Message From The Author

Alice Hoffman

Genre: General Mainstream Fiction, Mainstream

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Author's Message

The Magical World of Alice Hoffman

An author explores "THE PROBABLE FUTURE"

In the tradition of her favorite fairy-tale character, Alice Hoffman, who celebrates her 23rd year in publishing and her 20th novel this month, earns her place as the Mary Poppins of fiction. Her enchanted tales brimming with insight and magic whisk readers off on uncharted adventures a—delightful as Poppins' carousel horses could find—cantering through the backyards of New England witches (Practical Magic), a determined ghost (The River King), a gentle giant (Illumination Night). In creating or recreating her own myths, Hoffman takes a wholisitc approach to writing that sees her entire community of characters—teenagers, adults, seniors—not just a couple of protagonists, transformed by the actions of and reactions to the witches, ghost, giant. In Practical Magic, a dastardly spell is broken with the help of the townsfolk.

Most recently, in THE PROBABLE FUTURE, Hoffman pens a tale of healing, second chances and forgiveness. As unpredictable March winds blow through New England, another Sparrow woman will once again alter the lives of the villagers of Unity. On her 13th birthday, Stella Sparrow Avery inherits her family legacy—an unmutable supernatural "gift." Just as Rebecca, the first Sparrow woman of unknown origin, could not feel physical pain; as Stella's grandmother, Elinor, instinctively knows when someone is lying; and as her mother, Jenny, can see into other people's dreams—Stella can foresee death.

But her first efforts to prevent the murder of a complete stranger land her father in jail. To evade the real murderer, who is now interested in Stella, both she and her mother return to Unity and the Sparrows' legendary, enchanted Cake House, where Elinor resides. With no money, no job and no self-discipline, Stella's philandering father returns as well, to live with his brother and await his trial. As spring fever blooms, the townspeople of Unity fall under the influence of the reuniting Sparrow women, and love and second chances become delightful byproducts.

As in all Hoffman's other novels, the beauty of THE PROBABLE FUTURE lies in her power to transfer her belief in possibilities to readers. Immersed in the world of Alice Hoffman, one might begin to see the magic that she says occurs every day: "The arrival of fireflies at dusk, the quality of sunlight, a child's reaction to a swimming pool. This is what I think of as everyday magic, practical magic, if you will. It definitely feeds the spirit."

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