Alice Hoffman’s SKYLIGHT CONFESSIONS

Hoffman has the ability to make ordinary prose flow as smoothly as poetry. It’s part of her signature writing style, and it’s just as evident in this novel as it is in her prior work. Skylight Confessions is a drama that starts out as a romance, but broadens to encompass a whole family. Arlyn Singer, a girl who dreams about finding her true love gets more than she may have expected from John Moody. More, and tragically, much less than what she would have hoped for. John is distant, selfish, somehow removed from his wife and children. But despite his feelings about their marriage, Arlyn’s brief life and painful death change him in ways that he doesn’t understand.

Without giving away more spoilers, I will say that this was a beautiful, lyrical story tinged with sadness. The novel walks that fine line between dream and reality, normalcy and chaos. You will feel for all of the characters in this book, in spite of, and because of their shortcomings.

The only thing that I didn’t like about this book was the ending. If felt as if things were being left open for the possibility of more stories about the Moody clan.  Hoffman manages to leave the story on an uplifting, if bittersweet note. There is a pervasive sadness to the story, but also beauty, a bit of magic and hopefulness that keeps you reading and hoping that in the deepest moment of despair, those Connecticut men Arlyn dreamed of will take flight.

__________

©2011 Lori Titus

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