Sunday, August 16, 2015

Review: The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

The Marriage of Opposites 
by Alice Hoffman
Published August 4th 2015 by Simon & Schuster 

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism.
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father's business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Fréderick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France. Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Fréderick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.

My Thoughts

Alice Hoffman has always written such poignant, heart wrenchingly beautiful stories that are true to life. She is the queen of magical realism. The Marriage of Opposites has sealed the deal for me, making her my absolute favorite Historical Fiction writer. She has beautiful way of weaving Jewish history through out her stories. I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to see that done and have it not be related AT ALL to the horrific second World War. I have such a healthy respect for the way she able to portray her characters whom are are strong as shine as brightly as stars.

The Marriage of Opposites follow the tale of a young girl named Rachel Pomie. She is not her own woman as it was in the early 1800's and must marry at her families command. The tables turn quickly once her husband passes away and his nephew sweeps into the picture. This may sound on the outside like a love story but there are so many layers to call it that would be a discredit to Mrs. Hoffman. Rachel is an extremely complex characters as we follow her through her life. She is often judgmental as her mother was to her which I think is a pretty accurate portrayal. Sometimes you inherit some bad qualities along with the good ones. No matter what she said you could tell where her heart was at. i love woman who fight for what they believe in when society tells them to sit down and be quiet. Rachel was that quintessential character.

The other brilliance of Mrs. Hoffman is her ability to bring the settings to life. St. Thomas was a brilliant backdrop to work with. She just has a knack for the perfect visualization. Not only in her physical settings but also in the details, such as her description of colors and textures. There is so much depth to everything she writes.

If you are a Historical Fiction lover like myself you simply must give Alice Hoffman a try. This book is tied for my favorite of her works along with The Museum of Impossible Things. Her lyrical writing and vivid descriptions are sure to please any reader.

5 Snowflakes


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