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The Probable Future (Fiction)

February 22 2004 at 4:08 PM
Alice Hoffman  (Login chapteraday)
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Fiction Book Club
The Probable Future
by Alice Hoffman
Buy book: $15.72

By turns chilling and enchanting "The Probable Future" chronicles the Sparrows's legacy as young Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance. Culminating in an exquisite ending, this story showcases the lavish literary gifts that have made Hoffman one of America's most treasured writers.


 
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MJ
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Um ...

February 23 2004, 9:34 AM 

Not sure about this one yet. The opening is interesting but not a grabber ... I liked the lemon pudding curdling, liked the mother-daughter bond. Felt too hit over the head about how this baby is going to be different, unpredictable.

Is anyone besides me getting tired of novels set in the northeast?!

 
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Ann
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Not sure....

February 23 2004, 10:52 AM 

I was initially completely turned off by the jacket blurb of this selection. Just not the kind of book that I find interesting. But, as many of you know by now, I'll give just about anything a try. The writing is good, great descriptions, etc. I'll hang in for the week.

And I, too, noticed: yet another novel set in the northeast. We did visit Louisiana in Madame X, but there does seem to be a trend in location.

 
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Paula
(Login pst333)

Northeast - YES!

February 23 2004, 11:46 AM 

Well this one's a keeper for sure...I love all these Northeast novels! And perfect timing for this one...all of us are waiting for signs of spring when in our hearts we know we've got another whole month to get through!

Paula

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Northeast - YES!

February 24 2004, 12:12 AM 


 
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Dorothea
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Re: Not sure....

February 23 2004, 2:34 PM 

I almost didn't read it, because like Ann I didn't think the jacket blurb about generations of women with intuition talents sounded interesting at all. But I very much liked the start of the book.

I appreciate the way the books often come grouped by location. Reading several in a row about the same part of the world really helps me to become interested and learn a bit about that area.

 
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Ann D
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Like it so far...

February 27 2004, 2:44 PM 

I've really enjoyed the daily installments for this book. I've never read Alice Hoffman's books, so will definitely look into more if Probable Future is as good as I think it will be.

 
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Suzanne
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The Probable Future

February 23 2004, 11:53 AM 

I love the start of this book!! It definitely has my attention. The mother sounds like such a complex person. I can't wait for tomorrow's read.

 
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SSM
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To those unsure...

February 23 2004, 1:10 PM 

Please keep reading. I recently read this book and loved it! I know your tastes may not be the same as mine but please give The Probable Future a chance. Of course, I'm a big fan of Alice Hoffman so I may not be that objective :-)

 
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Kelly Dollard
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Re: The Probable Future (Fiction)

February 23 2004, 1:41 PM 

I have only read one other Alice Hoffman novel - Practical Magic. I read it before the movie was released which is good - because after seeing that I would have never bothered. She has a beautiful style, and sometimes that obscures the lack of powerful storyline. Give it a shot.

 
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Heather
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Future

February 23 2004, 3:16 PM 

The first few paragraphs had me putting my cursor over the delete button... BUT then I read this paragraph
"The infant's first cries weren't heard until she was tucked into a flannel bunting; then little yelps echoed from her tiny mouth, as though she were a cat caught in a puddle. The baby was easily soothed, just a pat or two on the back from the doctor, but it was too late: her cries had gone right through Jenny, a hook piercing through blood and bones. Jenny Sparrow Avery was no longer aware of her husband, or the nurses with whom he was flirting. She didn't care about the blood on the floor or the trembling in her legs or even the Milky Way above them in the sky. Her eyes were filled with dizzying circles of light, little pinpricks that glimmered inside her eyelids. It wasn't starlight, but something else entirely. Something she couldn't comprehend until the doctor handed her the child, the damaged left shoulder taped up with white adhesive as though it were a broken wing. Jenny gazed into her child's calm face. In that instant she experienced complete devotion. Then and there, on the fifth floor of Brigham and Women's Hospital, she understood what it meant to be blinded by love."

and I was hooked! Despite the wordiness, I think I like this one! I can't wait until tomorrow :)
Happy Monday!
Heather

 
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Gianna
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I agree with you 100%.

February 24 2004, 7:12 AM 

That was an excellent part and I like this book so far. I look forward to tomorrow's excerpt!

 
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atlantanna
(Login atlantanna)

high hopes crashing

February 24 2004, 8:16 AM 

I had such high hopes for this story. But I guess today I am disappointed. I felt the author jumped around a lot between the town, Boston, Avery, her mother without really exploring any of them closely.
I wanted to know more about the baby early on and her family.

 
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Helen
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Unsure first-timer

February 24 2004, 10:40 PM 

Hi. I just joined the reading group and this is my first novel - unsure about the novel, although I am definitely impressed with the author's ability to paint a picture with words. I love reading this way! What a wonderful way to be introduced to books. Thank you.

 
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Corenna
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Re: The Probable Future (Fiction)

February 24 2004, 8:16 AM 

I think I will probably pass on this one.

To be honest, I am tired of books set in the Northeast and mother/daughter or family stories. Maybe it is because I am young, travel a lot, have a independent career and have no desire to have children (at least not yet), but I would like to read something a little different. I have never been interested in Hoffman before and so far, my mind has not been radically changed.

But, you never know. Will report back on Friday!

 
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Debbie
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Love this book!

February 24 2004, 9:03 AM 

I'm a big Alice Hoffman fan, and I just read this book a couple of weeks ago. Her books are like modern day fairy tales. Just enough imagination and magic.

 
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Karen
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Listen to Debbie, SSM, (and me!)

February 24 2004, 7:08 PM 

I read this book last year and loved it (but I am a big Alice Hoffman fan also). If you like this book at all after reading this weeks installments, get it and read the whole thing, you'll be glad you did! I also agree with Kelly about the movie "Practical Magic," I was so excited they were making an Alice Hoffman book into a movie, but I was so disappointed after I saw it!

 
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jeff
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Probably Future was a movie?

October 7 2004, 3:27 PM 

under what name?

According to www.imdb.com ... It's not a movie until 2005.

 
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robint
(Login robint1981)

Re: Love this book!

February 24 2004, 8:00 PM 

This is my first Alice Hoffman and I LOVE IT!!! I can't wait for the rest of the installments.

 
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greta
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npr interview

August 1 2004, 4:20 PM 

I just heard the amazing interview with Alice on NPR, and nearly fell over when she said she has just learned to KNIT. I've been a fan, but now, well, as a lifelong knitter, this just MEANS I must run right out and get the latest book!

 
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