Beautifully written but couldn't hold my interest

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books (June 2, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307393860
ISBN-13: 978-0307393869

From Publishers Weekly
Lyrical but atypically monotonous, bestseller Hoffman’s latest follows the dark family saga of Elv, Megan and Claire Story, sisters plagued by uncommon sadness. As a child, Elv spun fairy tales of a magical world for her sisters, but a (bad) period…sends her spiraling into years of drug addiction and painful self-abuse. Elv’s story is unrelentingly grim, and without Hoffman’s characteristic magic realism, its simple downward spiral becomes exhausting. Tragedy after tragedy befalls the family – Elv’s commitment to a juvenile rehab facility, a deadly accident, a fatal illness and betrayal after betrayal. When the last third of the book turns to focus on Claire, who has been so damaged by the family crises that she refuses to speak, the slight glimmers of hope and goodness are too little, too late. Hoffman’s prose is as lovely as ever: the imagined and real worlds of the Story sisters are rich and clear, but Elv’s troubles and the Story family’s nonstop catastrophes are wearying.

My Review

This book started out so promising, and I was utterly charmed by Hoffman’s writing from the very first page. Sadly, this enchantment did not last very long. The main story revolves around the three Story sisters: Elv, Megan and Claire. Elv is the oldest, and the creator of a magical imaginary world that the three sisters share. Unfortunately, the magic doesn’t last.

None of the characters were very appealing. Annie, the mother, seemed weak, clueless, and helpless. Elv was simply unpleasant. And the middle sister Megan and youngest sister Claire weren’t much better. With no one to sympathize with, that left the plot. After the promising start, it soon went down a road I wasn’t happy with. The book took an unexpected turn and lost my interest.

I kept trying to plow through, hoping the story would pick up again, but no such luck. Wondering why and how this book received so many glowing reviews, I continued reading long after I would normally stop. Finally reached page 152 and threw in the towel. With so many books on my TBR pile vying for my attention, why bother with a book I was struggling with?

So Story Sisters, I bid you farewell. Can’t say it was nice meeting you, but at least I didn’t have to pay for the pleasure. Back to the library you go!

I gave this book 1 out of 5 stars, as I simply couldn’t finish it.

Would love to hear from anyone who finished the book, and see what they thought….

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

  1. Interesting. It's good to see a review for a book that wasn't worth finishing. I'm a little bit into one of those right now, and not sure what to do about it! 🙂

  2. I wasn't sure if I should post this review or not, but figured since I had already mentioned that I was reading the book, why not? And it helped that I already had a rough draft of the book information saved. But don't know if I'll do this again…one star reviews make me a little nervous for some reason.

  3. I see nothing wrong with posting an honest review about a book you didn't enjoy. The author/publisher may not like it, but other readers will appreciate the honesty. 🙂 I know I do.

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