Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Blackbird House By: Alice Hoffman

On the outskirts of the sea town of Cape Cod sits the a small amount of acreage. Nothing special, just a few acres of field,  some woods, and a small pond at the back of the property. There is no view of the ocean, but suits John Hadley just fine. The fisherman who has spent years out at sea wants only to settle down and give his beautiful wife, Coral, and two sons a simple house he built with the help of the neighbors. The house is a simple two stories, a kitchen and bedroom on the first floor an attic for the boys above. There is no glass in the windows just oiled paper. 
Image result for blackbird house by alice hoffman
All that he needs to do now is go on one last fishing trip. He takes his sons along with him going against his wife's wishes not to take Isaac who is only ten. They head out on a clear night, moon glowing high in the sky only after the have left the bay does Isaac reveal that he has brought along his pet blackbird. The co dependent creature doesn't even know how to fly. When a storm pops of and tears the boat apart Isaac throws the blackbird into the air to save it as a last show of love. To his surprise it flies away. Coral refuses to believe her husband and sons are dead, she works in the garden and plants sweet peas (always a favorite of John’s). Only when the blackbird returns having turned pure white does she expect they are truly gone. 

This book is made up 12 stories. Some are connected with the same characters, some are descendants of former characters. The one thing they all have in common is the blackbird house.

My favorite part of the book is how there is a sense of subtle fantasy throughout most of the stories. Many of the people that lived in the house say that they have seen the ghost bird or the old fisherman in the woods. In two of the stories they is even a supposed witch!

I guess I would have to say that the main thing I disliked about this book was, like other books I have read by this author, that it was very depressing. In almost all of the stories characters die! I just wish it could have been a bit happier. Also it is not the most appropriate book in the world, that's all I’m going to say on that matter though.

I would give this a five out of five star rating.


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