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Extended Audio Sample The Third Angel: 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 (5,616 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: April 2008 ISBN: 9780739366431
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Alice Hoffman is one of our most beloved writers. Here on Earth was an Oprah Book Club selection. Practical Magic and Aquamarine were both bestselling books and turned into movies. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, and People, and her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, and Self.

Now, in The Third Angel, Hoffman weaves a magical and stunningly original story that charts the lives of three women in love with the wrong men: Headstrong Madeleine Heller finds herself hopelessly attracted to her sister’s fiancé. Frieda Lewis, a doctor’s daughter and a runaway, becomes the muse of an ill-fated rock star. And beautiful Bryn Evans is set to marry an Englishman while secretly obsessed with her ex-husband. At the heart of the novel is Lucy Green, who blames herself for a tragic accident she witnessed at the age of twelve, and who spends four decades searching for the Third Angel—the angel on earth who will renew her faith.

Brilliantly evoking London’s King’s Road, Knightsbridge, and Kensington while moving effortlessly back in time, The Third Angel is a work of startling beauty about the unique, alchemical nature of love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Is there an American novelist who understands the complicated and mulitfacted nature of love in all its manifestations — romantic, familial, platonic — better than Alice Hoffman?... Some critics have minimed the complexity of Hoffman’s work by refering to her as a romance writers. Well, Hoffman is a romance writer, but then so were Flaubert, Proust, the Bronte sisters, and Jane Austen. The Third Angel is indeed a romance, but one of intricacy and pathos, with characters beautifully, believably and empathetically drawn.…The Third Angel represents yet another strong, visceral and deeply, darkly moving tale of love and heatbreak, tragedy and redemption from a writer whose keen ear for the measure struck by the beat of the human heart is unparalleled. The Third Angel is an intense, provocative and throughly affecting novel. The Chicago Tribune
  • Like Michael Cunningham’s ‘The Hours,’ Hoffman’s tale weaves the stories of women at key moments in their lives with revelations both stunning and inevitable. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette
  • “Its realism, combined with a refreshing lightness and its success in portraying emotion with empathy, draws the reader into a deep involvement with the books’ appealing yet flawed characters. Each woman faces up to her challengers in her own way, proving that everyone in the end is responsible for his or her own destiny. The Economist
  • “Hoffman’s luminous language bounces us into accepting not only coincident but also its consequences.
    The Boston Globe
  • Alice Hoffman paints her books in big strokes and bright colors, with slashes of romantic reds and blacks. She’s a teller of fairy tells, well-worn or new. The Columbus Dispatch
  • “With a graceful nod to the power of redemption, Alice Hoffman reminds readers we are all hurt and broken, stumbling through life and fumbling for love, but sometimes we can still find out way to where we want to go.
    Charlotte Observer
  • “Headstrong women, reckless love affairs and a liberal dusting of the supernatural are the pleasurable trademarks of an Alice Hoffman novel….Her passionate storytelling and
    intense characters make a deeply personal connetion that should bewitch old fans and new readers alike. People Magazine (A “People Pick,” 4-stars)
  • Un-put-downable….The Third Angel soars….an unforgettable portrait of the depth of true love. USA Today
  • “Hoffman makes vivid and new the realization that grace, beauty, and forgiveness can arise out of the most devastating situations. Elle
  • Alice Hoffman’s richly layered novel, The Third Angel, is one of her best. More
  • Hands down, this captivating book is one of Hoffman’s best. It follows three women’s lives as they flow together and apart, tributaries linked by the same tragic love story and mysterious ghost. You’ll want to start it again as soon as you’re done. Redbook
  • A book that’s hard to put away completely. Even long after it’s finished, you may find its characters sneaking, like ghosts, back into your head. St. Louis Post Dispatch
  • These stories capture the fleeting happiness of doomed, misguided love. Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Elegant and stunning….Hoffman interweaves the three storioes, gazing unerringly into forces that cause some people to self-destrut and others to find inner strength to last a lifetime. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • One of her best…an exceptionally well-structured, beguiling, and affecting triptych of catastrophic love stories….Not only is Hoffman spellbinding in this incandescent fusion of dark romance and penetrating psychic insight, she also opens diverse and compelling worlds, dramatizes the shocks and revelations that forge the self, and reveals the necessity and toll of empathy and kindness. Hoffman has transcended her own genre. Booklist (starred review)
  • The Third Angel places Hoffman at perhaps the pinnacle of her bountiful literary talents. Bookpage
  • A mesmerizing tale of the human condition….sure to please Hoffman’s fans and win over new readers. Library Journal

    The Third Angel is brilliantly crafted, deeply moving, and utterly enchanting. I loved these characters for their complexity, their unpredictability and for the way they showed subtle and shifting nuance in human nature. One of the best things about Alice Hoffman's writing is that she grounds you in detail and also frees your imagination to soar to places it has never been--often simultaneously.  Reading her is immensely satisfying--and addictive!
  • Alice Hoffman is my favorite writer. Jodi Picoult
  • With her glorious prose and extraordinary eyes . . . Alice Hoffman seems to know what it means to be a human being. Susan Isaacs, Newsday
  • Alice Hoffman takes seemingly ordinary lives and lets us see and feel extraordinary things. Amy Tan
  • Hoffman’s characters, male and female, tend to be defined by the restless, lonely ache of what’s missing in their lives, which becomes clear only when they fill the void with something either unexpectedly right or horribly
    wrong. Along the way, Hoffman seems to wriggle into their skin, breathe their air, and think their thoughts.
    Entertainment Weekly




Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 2/20/2014

    " I will definitely seek out more of her books - I plowed through this one and really enjoyed it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angie | 2/18/2014

    " While I thought the stories woven together with sort of interesting connections was a cool idea, I didn't like the first story at all and I was intrigued but not terribly into the second story either. I did really enjoy the third story, though, and felt that it sort of redeemed the rest of the book. This just wasn't one of my favorites overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah | 2/15/2014

    " The story of three women in love with the wrong men. Told in three different parts, I enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christie | 2/13/2014

    " Read this after reading The Dovekeepers. I found that one so amazing and engrossing that this wasn't comparable. Not a bad read by any stretch, but not my favorite "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtenay | 2/13/2014

    " A series of three stories about love and betrayal on the seventh floor of a London hotel, told in reverse chronological order. I read the whole book and then immediately reread the first two sections. My favorite section was the second, which took place in 1966. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nglogau | 2/5/2014

    " I have to admit the only reason why I read this book was because Jodi picoult was quoted on the back saying how great it was. Well...I may love her books but I couldn't disagree more. I found the book slow and a bit boring, I almost didn't get through it, it picked up towards the end by it took to long for the stories to intertwine and even felt like it was toooo intertwined! I have to say it was just weird and books like this make me mad bc I wasted time on it when they are so many others I would enjoy more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 2/5/2014

    " This is first book by Alice Hoffman that I have read. The story telling was very clever. The characters were very real and solid. I will definately be reading more the Hoffman's books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Grayson | 2/3/2014

    " This was the first book that I read by Alice Hoffman. I really enjoyed how the stories were all intertwined, although at times I found myself trying to figure out if there was a reason for the connections other than chance. Ultimately I think the answer to that is no, which I found disappointing, and I think that is the reason why I'm only giving this three stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Jekel | 1/31/2014

    " Next to Story Sisters, this is my favorite of Hoffman's that I've read so far. I fell in love with the characters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pat | 1/14/2014

    " I didn't finish it. I didn't engage with the characters and didn't really care what happpened to them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 12/23/2013

    " I like the way this book was set during three different generations. I would recommend getting the print version of this book because you are going to want to do some flipping so you can see who was whom.... I plan on reading more Alice Hoffman... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly Hargraves | 12/7/2013

    " Captivating story... Strange in some parts, but I really liked it! "

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

    " Super fast read.....like how it all tied together! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 12/1/2013

    " Another book on cd, another enjoyable ride. This was really 3 stories in one, and I think I enjoyed the book more as it progressed and the stories became more entwined. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin Sajewski | 11/21/2013

    " Beautifully written story told through the intersecting lives of 4 women. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grayson | 11/17/2013

    " i love how the book goes back in time through the book and how you learn about the characters at first glanced over, a very creative writing style. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charlene | 10/31/2013

    " Strange. Hard to keep up with characters at first. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 9/9/2013

    " Didn't love it as much as some of her other ones, but ultimately still a pretty good, well-paced read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 7/10/2013

    " I have always liked Alice Hoffman's books. She really gets to the heart of people so well "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy/girlsinthestacks.com | 7/2/2012

    " Couldn't finish it. maybe I will come back to it someday, but there's too many other books in the world I want to read first. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hollis | 6/10/2012

    " I'm generally a big fan of Alice Hoffman's books, but this one left me unsatisfied. The characters felt either silly or not believable in their life choices and while the way they were woven together was clever, it too, was not believable. Definitely not one of her better ones! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria Botica | 5/24/2012

    " She is one of my favourite authors so I always appreciate the magical quality of her books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 3/10/2012

    " I enjoyed the unusual structure of this novel but found the characters too thinly drawn. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 2/23/2012

    " I have always enjoyed Hoffman's books. This one is very good so far. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 12/21/2011

    " I just adore Alice Hoffman's writing so this was something I thoroughly enjoyed- definitely pulls at the heart strings but makes you think about compassion for others as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaye | 9/11/2011

    " I found it fun that the characters intertwined in such unlikely ways, but I didn't love this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Surabhi | 7/25/2011

    " Real crap. I learned that if you are a well-known author you can put out crap and people will read it. I don't know if her other books are better, but her writing in this one was at a junior high level. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 7/11/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. Alice Hoffman usually has a bit of magic realism going on and this book was no exception. Her introduction and portrayal of the characters was so interesting. I'd definitely recommend this. "

  • 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.