The Probable Future

The Probable Future

Paperback

By (author) Alice Hoffman

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 24mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 009945386X
  • ISBN 13: 9780099453864
  • Sales rank: 183,002

Product description

When the women in the Sparrow family reach thirteen, they develop a unique ability. In young Stella's case, the gift, which is both a blessing and a curse, is the ability to see a person's probable future. Stella foresees a gruesome murder, and tells her charming, feckless father about it, but it is too late - the murder has already been committed and suspicion falls on him. Hoffman unlocks the caskets of family life and the secret history of a community in this magical story about young love and old love, about making choices - usually the wrong ones - about foresight and consequences, all suffused with the haunting scent of roses and wisteria, and the hum of bees on a summer evening.

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Author information

Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of acclaimed novels, including Here on Earth (an Oprah Book Club selection), Practical Magic (a Hollywood film), The River King, Blue Diary, Turtle Moon and most recently Skylight Confessions. Blackbird House was shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. She divides her time between Boston and New York City.

Review quote

"Magical and entertaining; at times positively bewitching... That Hoffman is a highly capable storyteller is in no doubt. Hoffman's latest novel possesses the irresistible quality of a compelling fairytale for adults" Scotland on Sunday "A great atmospheric storyteller... Her books are a real pleasure" Kate Atkinson "Like her contemporaries, Carol Shields and Alice Munro, Hoffman has an acute yet tender eye for detail... Hoffman writes with heartbreaking clarity" The Times "An enchanting page-turner of a novel... Charming, utterly absorbing and very enjoyable, this book will leave you wanting move" Big Issue "Alice Hoffman is a daring and able writer; she plots conjunctions of mundane and magical events with such ease that the reader never doubts her word" New Yorker

Flap copy

The women of the Sparrow family have lived in New England for generations. Each is born in the month of March, and at the age of thirteen, each develops an unusual gift. Elinor can literally smell a lie. Her daughter, Jenny, can see people's dreams as they're dreaming them. Granddaughter Stella, newly a teen, has just developed the ability to see how other people will die. Ironically, it is their gifts that have kept Elinor and Jenny apart for the last twenty-five years. But as Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance, the unthinkable happens: One of her premonitions lands her father in jail, wrongly accused of homicide. The ordeal leads Stella to the grandmother she's never met and to Cake House, the Sparrow ancestral home full of talismans and fraught with history. Now three generations of estranged Sparrow women must come together to turn Stella's potential to ruin into a potential to redeem.