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She was disappearing inch by inch, vanishing into thin air, and then one day a postcard arrived . . . There was no return address, no signature, only a scrawled message: Say something.
Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl growing up on Long Island until one night a terrible road accident brings her life to a halt. While her best friend Helene suffers life-changing injuries, Shelby becomes overwhelmed with guilt and is suddenly unable to see the possibility of a future she'd once taken for granted.
But as time passes, and Helene becomes an almost otherworldly figure within the town, seen by its inhabitants as a source of healing, Shelby finds herself attended to by her own guardian angel. A mysterious figure she half-glimpsed the night of the car crash, he now sends Shelby brief but beautiful messages imploring her to take charge of her life once more . . .
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When you lose all hope and sense of worth? Shelby, a fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookshops, and men she should stay away from, captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding oneself at last. From the bestselling author of The Dovekeepers comes this spellbinding, poignant and life-affirming story of one woman's journey towards happiness - and the power of love, family and fate.
`A great atmospheric storyteller . . . Her books are a real pleasure' Kate Atkinson
`Alice Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds' Jodi Picoult
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What Reviewers Are Saying
I was hooked from the first chapter of this book. Shelby is distraught following a car accident in which her friend, Helene, has been left comatose. Totally overcome by guilt she becomes a shadow of her former self, essentially living as a hermit in her parent's basement. Her only link to the outside world is via Ben, from whom she buys drugs to forget. Slowly though, with his support and love, she starts to move on and begins a new life with him in Manhattan. All the while a mystery person is leaving postcards at her parent's house which seem to give her direction when she flounders. As she gets stronger and finds work and a new best friend her relationship with Ben falls by the wayside and she falls under the charms of a married man. When she learns the truth about his lies a dating website matches her with Ben again and you think the story is going to take a predictable route in which they get back together and all is happy ever after. This is not that kind of book though and Shelby has much more heartache to come. This is a relatively short book at 255 pages and so absorbing it's easy to devour it at one sitting. A real tale that shows what doesn't kill you makes your stronger - I could read this again and again.
`Alice Hoffman's fictionalised biography of Rachel Pizzarro's life is an evocative, sensitive and historically rich portrayal of a woman living ahead of her time' * The Observer on The Marriage of Opposites * `Hoffman is a master of evocatively described places . . . This captivating novel transports the reader to a sensual world of lush tropical landscapes, colonial opulence and conflicted passions' * The Lady on The Marriage of Opposites * `What is it that makes American authors excel at depicting marriage? Alice Hoffman's The Marriage of Opposites is one of the best novels on the subject . . . not least because the opposites of its title embrace not just gender but race, class and religion . . . Hoffman's sensuous prose is ideally suited to describing the landscape . . . As intoxicating as the finest island rum' * Independent on The Marriage of Opposites *