A moving novel of fear, desire, loss, and discovery on Martha’s Vineyard, from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and Seventh Heaven.
Elizabeth Renny has only made two decisions of consequence in her seventy-plus years. While the first, marrying her husband, had adequate results, the second—deciding she could fly from her bedroom window—is less successful. But her flight sets in motion a series of events that will forever change the lives of six residents of Martha’s Vineyard: a young boy who refuses to grow, a wife stifled by her irrational anxiety, a husband tempted by the unknown, a girl flirting with disaster, a gentle giant tortured by his size, and an old woman with nothing to lose.
Praised as “an intelligent novel” by the New York Times and “achingly vivid” by Newsday, Illumination Night is a sparkling and heartbreaking narrative that explores marriage, friendship, youth, yearning, disillusionment, and desire, a book as bright and memorable as the festival of lanterns for which it is named.
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“Daringly mixing comedy with tragedy . . . [Hoffman] has created a narrative that somehow makes myth out of the sticky complexities of contemporary marriage. . . . Her characters are branded onto one’s memory.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Vivid, convincing characters . . . Uncommon insight.” —People
“One of the best writers we have today—insightful, funny, intelligent, with a distinctive voice.” —The Plain Dealer
“There is a cumulative power to Illumination Night that is wondrous.” —Chicago Tribune
“[A] bright constellation of characters . . . draws the reader into the dusky, dreamy world of Alice Hoffman.” —St. Petersburg Times
“Not-so-delicate questions are raised in a wonderfully delicate way. . . . Achingly vivid.” —Newsday
“Alice Hoffman hits bull’s-eyes on the incomprehensions between the young and the old, on the magic and pain of ordinary life. She is erotic and romantic . . . funny . . . clever and humane.” —The Times (London)
About the author
Alice Hoffman was born in New York City and grew up Long Island. She wrote her first novel, Property Of, while studying creative writing at Stanford University, and since then has published more than thirty books for readers of all ages, including the New York Times bestsellers The Museum of Extraordinary Things and The Dovekeepers. Two of her novels, Practical Magic and Aquamarine, have been made into films, and Here on Earth was an Oprah's Book Club Choice. All told, Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty languages and one hundred foreign editions. She lives outside of Boston.