The Drowning Season
Alice Hoffman’s magical novel of a Long Island family matriarch and her namesake granddaughter who discover the power the past holds over their present.
Esther the Black is eighteen years old and ready to leave the Compound, the collection of cottages on the North Shore of Long Island where she has lived all her life. But as July turns to August and her family braces for the height of Drowning Season, she realizes that she may not be able to escape her family’s legacy.
Her father will find a way through the locked sea-wall gate and try to drown himself in the harbor, her mother will be too hung over to leave her cottage for days at a time, and her grandmother will refuse to say a single kind word.
Esther the White left home when she was just a girl, fleeing her abusive parents across a frozen Russian river with a pocketful of stolen jewels. Life has taught her to be cold and unyielding, but in the heat of another fraught summer at the Compound, she feels her resolve melting away. Cohen, the landscaper and chauffeur responsible for keeping her son out of the water, looks at her with a desire she finds harder and harder to resist. Her granddaughter’s name may be an insult to tradition, but does that mean the poor girl should never feel her grandmother’s love or know her story?
Graceful, haunting, and wise, The Drowning Season “casts the spell of all great fairy tales. It takes daily life and transforms it into myth as we watch” (Chicago Sun-Times).
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
“A triumph.” —Los Angeles Times
“A superb novel.” —John Irving
“Absolutely magical . . . One of the best books I have ever read.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“A touching and startling novel.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[A] stunning and hypnotic novel that interweaves past and present with piercing images and unfailing energy.” —Publishers Weekly
“Hoffman is operating in Kafka’s realm, in the territory of I.B. Singer, and of Tolstoy’s folk tales. . . . She has tapped some timeless quality of human experience.” —Newsday
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.