Book Reviews
Fortune’s Daughter: Alice Hoffman
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Fortune’s Daughter: Alice Hoffman
Fortune’s Daughter: Alice Hoffman

Only a slight leaning towards the esoteric with this one – it’s really more women’s fiction.

I have to admit that there was a long gap between reading the first and second halves – I found it difficult to engage with either of the characters and gave up just past half way though, picked it up again only recently.

Two women: Rae, young, rebellious, difficult relationship with her mother and an obsession with Jessup, the least steady type of man imaginable. She’s pregnant, he’s off.

Lila, fortune-teller with a lost daughter in her past. The lives of the two women come together with consequences for both. Lots of pregnancy and motherhood issues, a bit of fortune-telling and magical realism.

Alice Hoffman has an annoying habit of frequent sidetracking into the past lives of different characters, sometimes when they’re present only in the minds of the character whose story she’s engaged with at that moment, which is frustrating when you want the thing to move forwards. I never really got to empathise with anyone in this novel – maybe it’s too like the stories you read in women’s magazines for me. Or maybe not, because I haven’t read any for aeons. Perhaps the characters themselves are at fault – I couldn’t see how Rae could want to stay with a jerk like Jessup for a start, and Lila seemed so wrapped up herself that she didn’t seem to feel a thing for anyone else. Either way, it left me unmoved and feeling as though I’d wasted a few hours of my life.

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