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Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman

Seventh Heaven

Part of the Virago Modern Classics Series
Literary Fiction   Family Drama   

RRP £13.00

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June 2011 Guest Editor Suzannah Dunn on Seventh Heaven...

I regard myself as having a very sensitive whimsy-ometer; my most common and damning complaint about a novel is that it’s ‘whimsical’. Well, this novel has whimsy in spades, but I adore it. I’ve recommended it to so many people (male as well as female) over the years, and I’ve yet to come across anyone who feels differently. This story of divorcee Nora Silk moving with her two little boys onto an initially wary and unwelcoming Long Island housing estate in 1959 is written with a lovely light touch but has abolutely everything in it – from light to dark - that you could wish for from a novel (even wonderfully-depicted dogs).

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

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Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman

In the summer of 1959 Nora Silk moves into a quiet suburb on Long Island with her two, young sons, a collection of Elvis records and a marked absence of husband. Her glamour and cheerfully chaotic ways immediately arouse the suspicions of the neighbourhood where life runs according to two rules - 'mind your own business and keep up your lawn'. Seventh Heaven is a lyrical, optimistic novel of yearning and desire, 'this writer can cut through to the true magic and true grit beneath' (Financial Times).


'This is Alice Hoffman at her best, turning our eyes toward the ordinary surface of things to see the power that shimmers underneath'

'A dreamy surreal story written with an angel's touch'

'Hoffman's most beguiling fiction to date'

Alice Hoffman's fresh, delightful version of the American Dream is set in the early 1960s in a sleepy Long Island neighbourhood where the most important rule of behaviour is minding your own business, and the existence of evil, if given any credence at all, can be countered by washing the kitchen floor with Lysol. Enter Norah Silk, beautiful, hedonistic, a woman on her own with two small sons and an obvious target for suspicious wives and frustrated husbands. Norah, being something of a magician, turns a potential disaster into a triumph for compassion and good sense. Settling quickly into Hemlock Street, she cures small boys of heartache and softens the harshness of sad marriages. A Mary Poppins story for grown-ups, this sophisticated, funny novel is bound to give pleasure. (Kirkus UK)

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

18th April 2013


Alice Hoffman

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Virago Press Ltd an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group


256 pages


Literary Fiction
Family Drama

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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