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Extended Audio Sample The Story Sisters: A Novel Audiobook, by Alice Hoffman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,387 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alice Hoffman Narrator: Nancy Travis Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9780739383551
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Alice Hoffman’s previous novel, The Third Angel, was hailed as "an unforgettable portrait of the depth of true love" (USA Today), "stunning" (Jodi Picoult), and "spellbinding" (Miami Herald). Her new novel, The Story Sisters, charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and stays there, a detective who finds his heart’s desire, and a demon who will not let go.


What does a mother do when one of her children goes astray? How does she save one daughter without sacrificing the others? How deep can love go, and how far can it take you? These are the questions this luminous novel asks. 
At once a coming-of-age tale, a family saga, and a love story of erotic longing, The Story Sisters sifts through the miraculous and the mundane as the girls become women and their choices haunt them, change them and, finally, redeem them. It confirms Alice Hoffman’s reputation as "a writer whose keen ear for the measure struck by the beat of the human heart is unparalleled" (The Chicago Tribune).

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Quotes & Awards

  • When it comes to blending magic and the mundane routines of life, there's no finer writer than Alice Hoffman -- but even she has outdone herself with her latest novel.  THE STORY SISTERS hearkens back to the classic fairy tale, where one must suffer fear and loss before stumbling upon a happy ending.  Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds, to heal a broken heart, and to tie us irrevocably to the people we love. Jodi Picoult, author of Handle With Care
  • The always dazzling Hoffman has outdone herself in this bewitching weave of psychologically astute fantasy and shattering realism….this is an
    entrancing and romantic drama shot through with radiant beauty and belief in human resilience and transformation.
    Booklist (starred review)
  • The sisters’struggle to grow and thrive in the real world will keep you riveted to the pages of this heartbreaking novel about the powers and limits of love. Redbook
  • Painfully moving….there are beautiful moments throughout. Kirkus Reviews
  • Keeps readers heartbroken yet spellbound, turning the pages. Library Journal
  • Hoffman’s characters are always moving back and forth, challenging our perceptions, daring us to judge them. Her sentences tremble with allegory. . . . In the end, THE STORY SISTERS, for all its magic realism, is about a family navigating through motherhood, sisterhood, daughterhood. It’s Little Women on mushrooms. (Bookish sisters beware). New York Times Book Review
  • Hoffman is celebrated for her ability to conjure plausible alternative realities, to sprinkle her landscapes with witches and other mythical creatures, while keeping her stories closely tethered to familiar terrain. There’s a mysticism that swirls about her works but, like a late-morning fog, it eventually burns off to reveal a physical and emotional topography that most all of us can recognize. Chicago Tribune
  • "This bewitching novel explores the bonds of sisterhood like a haunting modern fairy tale. Glamour
  • “Any new book by Hoffman is an occasion to rejoice, as is the case with THE STORY SISTERS. Sacramento Bee

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry | 2/12/2014

    " i just love alice hoffman for sharing her gift of story telling with us. the story of 3 sisters and how they cope with the aftermath of tragedy in their lives. very sad story but so beautifully written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyle | 2/8/2014

    " Went back and forth about what to rate this book. It's beautifully written. Since I'm used to reading mystery books, the imagery in the book was quite a departure from the norm. Having said that, the book is a tragedy. I cried the entire time and I'm not sure if that's what people look for in a book. I enjoyed it. There were some very well written parts about family and love and forgiveness. Some phrases that I would go back and re-read because I could relate to them so much. It did make me want to look at some of her other books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claire Mackin | 2/6/2014

    " "I was almost overwhelmed by the loss in this book, so much darkness and death, but I'm glad I stayed with it til the end. The themes of family, loss, regret, forgiveness, and redemption moved me to tears. The NYTimes called it "Little Women on mushrooms." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Missy | 2/2/2014

    " This book was amazing. I got so involved in it I couldn't put it down. I think the author does an amazing job at describing the emotions of the sisters as much as the scenery. This book made me so mad though!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 1/22/2014

    " This is the first book that I read by this "popular" author..she has written 25 books. I decided to give her a try after Kristin picked up one of her books at the library. I am a bit mixed on this one.. I read some of the other reviews and agree with some of the comments.. The book was different than I expected..darker and more depressing..one tragedy after another.. I thought the middle sort of dragged and then the ending seemed rushed..wrapping everything up quickly. I did not understand Elv's undying love for her boyfriend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina | 1/17/2014

    " One of Alice Hoffman's best...and I've read most of her books. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonja | 1/17/2014

    " I really like Alice Hoffman's novels and have read a lot of them. I wanted to give this book 4 stars but the last third was so syrupy even tho I liked how it ended. And the beginning 1/3 seemed to be a lot of stuff over and over but the middle was really good. She usually makes for a pleasurable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lea | 12/6/2013

    " It was a very good book but I thought it was very sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Violet Crumble | 10/9/2013

    " Love me some Alice, but couldn't get into this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda Tarantino | 8/15/2013

    " Not my favorite by Alice Hoffman.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Ratkowski | 3/31/2013

    " I wasn't sure that I was going to like this book when I first started it because the character of Annie (the mother of the Story sisters) made me angry. I'm really glad, though, that I did because once I got through those first chapters, I couldn't stop reading. Fantastic book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 3/30/2013

    " Really liked this except for the magical excerpts that started several chapters - they made no sense. Tragic novel, beautiful bond between sisters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniela | 10/10/2012

    " This book is about three sisters that are so alike, but tragic events cause them to change a grow apart. It makes you cry, it makes you angry, but then at th end it warms your heart. Very touching. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen Foulke | 5/3/2012

    " I like everything Alice Hoffman does. This was about tragedy, love, redemption, guilt, forgiveness and as always a little magic. Once I reached the half way mark, I could not put it down "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane Ripley | 3/22/2012

    " A tragic family story of secrets and sisters and magic. Totally enthralling and worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ting | 12/24/2011

    " I really enjoy all of Alice Hoffman's books for their etherealness and magic. The characters are flawed and yet you still believe in them and want to know them and their stories. This book did not disappoint. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ctroskoph | 12/15/2011

    " It started slow but picked up toward the end. Predictable and overly dramatic but for some reason I did like it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne Keehne | 12/1/2011

    " This is the 2nd A.Hoffman book for me. Her tone is so melancholy, I have trouble reading it for long periods. Her writing skills are excellent, but I find myself dragged down by her. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 6/24/2011

    " I love Alice Hoffman, but not this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bonnie | 6/20/2011

    " I wanted to like this book but decided... Am just not interested in squabbles between siblings and adultery, unless, there is something worth reading between all the squabbles and there wasn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry | 6/9/2011

    " I was left with a need to have a little bit more at the end, as though it wasn't quite the end of the story. I also needed to go back and mentally put the character tree together to make sure i had it straight. Overall a good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Noel | 5/24/2011

    " Will renew your faith in life. Absolutely stunning storytelling, as usual. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 5/23/2011

    " Interesting twist in that story could be read forwards or backwards...Will have to read it backwards some time to see how it changes my perspectives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 5/21/2011

    " See review of Dance, Dance, Dance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 5/18/2011

    " Interesting storyline! I like how the characters were woven together. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mariel | 5/2/2011

    " just not my kind of book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trudy | 5/2/2011

    " I really enjoy Alice Hoffman's books and this was no exception. This story is really three stories and it took me until the middle of the book to figure out what the title meant. The third story brought the book together and everything made sense. Very enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rosann | 4/22/2011

    " Honestly did not really get this book - three stories about people and love and I know there was character carry-over between the 3 story lines, but it just didn't work for me... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 4/19/2011

    " A random find while on vacation, but an absolutely amazing book. "

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About the Author
Author Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. Her short fiction and nonfiction works have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and others. Her novel Practical Magic was made into a major motion picture starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman; her young adult novel Aquamarine was made into a movie in 2006.

About the Narrator

Nancy Travis is an actress who is best known for her roles in feature films such as Three Men and a Baby, Three Men and a Little Lady, Greedy, and Fluke. She currently stars as Vanessa Baxter in the ABC television series Last Man Standing.