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The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman

The Third Angel

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

She is one of my favourite authors with a large back catalogue that fluctuates between tales with a magical or fey slant and stories of American life. This is the first one she has set in London. It centres around a corridor in a hotel in Knightsbridge which is reputed to be haunted – but this is not a ghost story, it is a tale of a tormented soul, of love and loss and sadness and it is stunning.

Comparison: Sadie Jones, Patricia Schonstein, Joanne Harris.

If you like Alice Hoffman you might also like to read books by Anita Diamant, Ann Patchett and Tracy Chevalier.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman

This haunting, poignant and addictive story travels effortlessly across three generations and through time. Unravelling the years from the present to the 1950s, The Third Angel is a compelling novel, set mainly in London, about girls and women who make the wrong choices and have to live with the sometimes unbearable consequences.

The Third Angel opens in London in the present day, when an envious sibling comes to her sister’s wedding. Their mother’s illness cast a shadow over their childhood, and both Madeline and Allie are still searching for something missing in their lives. Back in the Swinging Sixties, the bridegroom’s conventional English mother, Frieda, behaves in a wholly unconventional way, and the ghosts of that era still haunt all their lives and a Knightsbridge hotel. Even before that, the seeds of tragedy are sown in the Fifties, when twelve-year-old Lucy first visits London and the same hotel. Precocious, impatient, wise beyond her years, Lucy becomes a go-between for two star-crossed lovers and then holds herself agonisingly responsible for what happens...


'Alice Hoffman is my favourite writer' Jodi Picoult

'Gently gets under your skin. You'll be hooked' Daily Mail

'In this elegant and stunning novel, veteran heartstring-puller Hoffman (Here on Earth; Seventh Heaven) examines the lives of three women at different crossroads in their lives, tying their London-centered stories together in devastating retrospect.' Publisher's Weekly

'Its realism, combined with a refreshing lightness and its success in portraying emotion with empathy, draws the reader into a deep involvement with the book’s appealing yet flawed characters' Economist

About the Author

Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of eighteen acclaimed novels, including The Ice Queen, Practical Magic, Here on Earth, The River King, Blue Diary, Illumination Night, Turtle Moon, Seventh Heaven, and At Risk. She lives in Massachusetts.

Photograph © Deborah Feingold

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd April 2009


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288 pages


Literary Fiction
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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