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The Marriage of Opposites
The Marriage of Opposites | Alice Hoffman
From the bestselling author of The Dovekeeperscomes a love story about one of history's most captivating 'invisible' women: Rachel, the mother of Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.Growing up on the idyllic island of St Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their tight-knit refugee community of Jews who escaped the European Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for refusing to live by the rules. But Rachel's fate is not in her own hands: in order to secure the future of her father's business, she is married off to a widower with three children. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome nephew Frdric arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes control of her life, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal affecting her entire family, including her favourite son, Camille Pissarro, who will one day become a founder member of the Impressionists and one of history's greatest artists. Set in a world of lush, exquisite beauty, The Marriage of Oppositesshows Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. The marriage of Rachel and Frdric is an unforgettable story of an extraordinary woman and her forbidden love. Praise for Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers: 'Beautiful, harrowing . . . A major contribution to twenty-first-century literature' Toni Morrison 'Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds, to heal a broken heart, and to tie us irrevocably to the people we love' Jodi Picoult'A book as monumental as its subject, magical, moving . . . A genuine masterpiece' Daily Mail
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review
Deborah42
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Pickpick

Lush historical fiction based on the complicated family saga of one of the first Impressionist painters, Camille Pissarro.

TrishB With a stunning cover ♥️ 2mo
4 likes1 comment
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Cinfhen
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#WanderingJune One of my favorite Alice Hoffman novels is the story of Rachel Pissarro, mother to Camille Pissarro, a 19th century impressionist painter. Set on the island of St. Thomas we learn about Rachel‘s life as a refugee from Spain and the small Jewish community that formed on St.Thomas following the Inquisition. It‘s a captivating story of a #CaribbeanQueen and her future generations.

GlassAsDiamonds ♥️♥️♥️Love Alice Hoffman!!! 4mo
TrishB And another stunning cover ❤️ 4mo
BarbaraBB I know Camille Pissarro (a contemporary of Van Gogh) but not that his mother was so interesting! Are you having a happy birthday💃🥂? Cheers to many more 😘❤️ 4mo
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Crazeedi Happy birthday Cindy!! Hope you have a really special day!! 🎂🎶❤ 4mo
4thhouseontheleft ooohhh, I haven't read this Hoffmann yet. 4mo
GatheringBooks that does look awesome! 4mo
Suet624 Thinking of you today, Cindy. Have a wonderful birthday!! 4mo
DebinHawaii Happy Birthday!! 🎉📚💐🎂🎁🎈Hope you are having a fabulous day! 😘 4mo
CafeMom This one is still on my TBR list. 4mo
Cinfhen I loved this one @CafeMom @GatheringBooks @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraBB @GlassAsDiamonds I much prefer Hoffman‘s HF to her magical realism 4mo
Cinfhen Birthday was great....still celebrating 🥳 @DebinHawaii @Suet624 🎈🎶🎂🎁💜 4mo
114 likes6 stack adds11 comments
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kindergartenkat
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#readingwomenchallenge This was my book featuring a religion other than my own.

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alisonrose
Pickpick

Absolutely beautiful writing, the kind of historical fiction I love—highlighting a mostly unknown woman from a well-known man‘s life. The author does such a good job at bringing Rachel (& Jestine) to life. Really liked the main setting of St. Thomas, don‘t think I‘ve read anything set there before. Wasn‘t as into in the chapters from Camille‘s POV, he just didn‘t draw me in. But overall this was brilliant & I def will read more of her work. 4/5 ⭐️

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alisonrose

“I‘ll pretend to be who they want me to be.” He grinned then, and she saw his youth. “But it won‘t work. In the end I‘ll have to disappoint someone. Either them, or myself.”

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alisonrose

But every night I thought about my other life, the one that had yet to begin.

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alisonrose

I wondered if all creatures were drawn to what was dangerous or if we merely wanted light at any cost and were willing to burn for our desires.

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alisonrose
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I‘ve never read anything by Alice Hoffman, but this one sounded really intriguing to me, so I figured it was a good place to start! #nowreading

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BookishTrish
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Spent a pleasant evening ruthlessly culling my Litsy TBR. I could go further but want to find out who has won Survivor.

Bklover I did that a while back. Made me feel so much better! 10mo
Cinfhen OMG!!! That would be SUCH a project!!!!!! 10mo
Pogue How do you do that? I have books that I have read on my TBR that I posted about. 10mo
See All 9 Comments
julesG If it didn't take ages, I'd do it. But it's such a pain. 10mo
batsy Same @julesG 😭 10mo
BookishTrish @Pogue One by one I toggled the to read off. It took hours. 10mo
BookishTrish @julesG @batsy It took a long time. I hope it‘s worth it. I was starting to feel overwhelmed when I looked at it. I‘m down to 60 books which is still too many! 10mo
CouronneDhiver Survivor 🖤 What did you think of the result? 10mo
BookishTrish The winner was my sis‘ fav, and of the three I‘m glad he won. I really wanted Gabby, Christian or Davey in the final 3. 10mo
73 likes9 comments
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KellyHunsakerReads
Marriage of Opposites | Alice Hoffman
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This family story follows several generations and describes their history in the Virgin Islands. It is rich in character and picturesque. It is beautiful.

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Lindy
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Pickpick

A 19th c saga based on real people: the Jewish family of painter Camille Pissarro, who lived on the Caribbean island of St Thomas. Pissarro‘s mother & her closest friend are the two central characters. I enjoyed this for the most part, even though it was a bit too romantic for my taste. Example: From the moment a young widow sees a newcomer, she knows she is experiencing love for the first time. (I call that lust.) Compelling, regardless.

josie281 The writing completely pulled me into the story. 13mo
Lindy @josie281 Hoffman knows how to tell a story. 😊 13mo
45 likes2 comments
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Lindy
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Then I understood that when someone begins to tell you her story, you are entwined together. Perhaps even more so if the ending hasn‘t been divulged.

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Lindy
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There is the outside of a story and the inside of a story. One is the fruit, and may be delicious, but the other is the seed.

VioletBramble This photo reminded me of a wonderful poem I read earlier today, Blackberry Eating by Galway Kinnell. ...the silent, startled, icy, black language of blackberry eating in late September. 13mo
Lindy @VioletBramble oooh! Lovely. 😊 13mo
52 likes1 stack add2 comments
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LikelyLibrarian
Marriage of Opposites | Alice Hoffman
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You have a few hours left to grab this daily deal from Audible. I haven‘t read this one yet, but I‘m a big Alice Hoffman fan, so it‘s sure to be good!

They‘re also giving away a free copy of White Fang!

DivineDiana This is a fantastic book! 1y
LikelyLibrarian @DivineDiana I love Hoffman! 1y
18 likes2 comments
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Brooke_H
Marriage of Opposites | Alice Hoffman
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Pickpick

A rich and beautiful family saga that begins in the early 1800s on St Thomas. The story is told from several points of view, but mostly through the first-person narration of Rachel Pizzarro. Very little is known about her, but she is best known for being Camille Pissarro's mother. I loved the descriptions of St Thomas and Paris. The characters are so distinct and interesting. And of course the writing is amazing, because Alice Hoffman.

thereadingowlvina I just finished The Museum Of Extraordinary Things. Absolutely love Hoffman's writing! 🤗💕 1y
Brooke_H @thereadingowlvina I haven‘t read that one yet, but I definitely want to! 1y
20 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Librarybelle
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Evening reading with the elusive #Vladimir . Notice how thrilled he is to have his picture taken...#catsoflitsy

Texreader That stache!! 😻 1y
robinb He looks so....uh....human! Does that even make sense??! 🤣🤣🤣😍😍😻😻 1y
TiredLibrarian The little white 'stache 🐱❤🐱❤🐱 1y
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wanderinglynn What a handsome boy! ❤️🐱 1y
Librarybelle Love the comment, @robinb ! I call him my little time manager - he tells me when I‘m not taking care of things at the right time! 1y
Librarybelle I know...his little mustache is priceless! @Texreader @TiredLibrarian @wanderinglynn 1y
robinb @Librarybelle everybody needs a time manager sometimes. 😊👍 1y
Librarybelle @robinb Indeed! 😂 1y
tjwill So stern! 😾😉 1y
Librarybelle @tjwill He likes to show his displeasure at picture taking time! 1y
127 likes10 comments
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Librarybelle
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Time to start this for next week‘s historical fiction book discussion.

DivineDiana I enjoyed this one! 1y
TrishB Me too 👍🏻 1y
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BookishMe This was recommended to me last night. Supposedly similar feels as A Gentleman in Moscow ;)) ... Eager to get it from the library soon. 1y
Librarybelle @BookishMe What an intriguing comparison! 1y
BookishMe @Librarybelle true and in some ways, it sets high expectations as A Gentleman in Moscow is incredibly well-written 1y
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KellyK
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Working my way through this on Day 2 of vacation.

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Craftylikefox
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The left is what I read this weekend VS the right which is what I wanted to read 😔 I have just a couple more weeks left of this semester and I am going to make sure I do well in classes. I whisper to my ridiculous TBR pile at night soon, soon I can devote more time to you.

Tadams4 You totally rock! 1y
Stacypatrice @Craftylikefox - It‘s always the BEST feeling when you conquer the semester‘s requirements and then you are free to read like panda 🐼 first discovering snow ❄️❄️❄️ You‘re almost there!!!!!! 1y
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BookBabe
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Pickpick

It's #Recommendsday! Fab book! Couldn't put it down. Started a little slow but quickly picked up. Love the artist aspect! Seeing the world through Pissarro's eyes was a treat. Set in the 1800s, mostly on the island of St Thomas, the rest in Paris. Alice Hoffman writes beautifully. If only she would write a whole book from an artist‘s point of view! Audiobook is excellent, narrators are tops. 4.5 stars! 👍🏻

Full review: https://bit.ly/1HnXq8Q

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readtheworld
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Pickpick

I just finished this incredible, haunting novel last night. the Marriage of Opposites is historical fiction that blends real characters — including artist Camille Pissarro — with the evocative settings of St. Thomas and Paris. Highly recommended!

#bookrec #hardcover #historicalfiction #coverart

Cortg I stacked it. I have not read Alice Hoffman but I‘ve heard good things! 2y
Bookish_B This was the first book I read by her and loved it! 2y
emilyhaldi ❤️ your photo😍 2y
Sophoclessweetheart Sounds divine x 2y
95 likes8 stack adds4 comments
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C.Perone
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I loved this book❤️

#ReadingResolutions #BeautifulWriting

DivineDiana As did I! ❤️📚❤️ 2y
25 likes1 comment
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readtheworld
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TFW someone‘s watching you read...

#dogsandbooks #readinglife #readtheworld #sundayreads #pupper

batsy 😄💜 2y
Chelleo 😂😂😂 2y
tpixie ♥️🐶♥️ 2y
See All 6 Comments
Avanders 🤣🤣 2y
RebelReader ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2y
Cortg I know the feeling! What a cutie! 2y
97 likes6 comments
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Melmar
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Love more, not less

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readtheworld
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Snow day today! Spending the evening snuggled up with my book and enjoying the contrast of its warm St. Thomas setting.

#readinglife #currentread #booksandsnow #litfic

EvieBee Wow. What a picture! Beautiful. 2y
79 likes1 comment
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readtheworld
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Grabbing a few minutes of reading at the gym before class begins.

#currentread #hardcover #botm

89 likes1 stack add
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Ladygodiva7
Marriage of Opposites | Alice Hoffman
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So, I made this for me 💍📖❤️

JenP Hi! And welcome to Litsy! 2y
Ladygodiva7 Thank you! 2y
rather_be_reading omg so cute!! 14mo
1 like3 comments
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BookBabe
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A fantastic meeting today of the #NYC #2030SomethingBookClub that @MrBook and I run! We had a rich, varied discussion on this excellent book (which some of us loved and some hated — always makes for an interesting discussion!)
And of course I had to have a tropical rum cocktail to go with the book. 🍹

cobwebmoth Yum! 2y
AmyG Oh, I love rum drinks. Enjoy! 2y
Lindy Good times! 👍 2y
128 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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BookBabe
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"As I turned the pages, I felt as if there were bees on my fingertips, for I had never felt so alive as when reading."

- The Marriage of Opposites

?

LitLogophile How lovely🍯 2y
C.Perone Great quote! I loved this book😊 2y
Smrloomis 💕💕💕 2y
110 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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Ajessgirl
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Pickpick

Absolutely loved it! I love multi-generational historical fiction, so this was right up my alley. It was such a fun surprise to find out that it also includes a focus on art, and art history. It had just the right amount of magic — as one of the review blurbs states, it has “Hoffman‘s signature blend of folklore, fairy dust, and romantic passion.”

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Bookartbookmarks
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Pickpick

Anyone else love Alice Hoffman? She can just perfectly wind everything together. And look and at that cover. I just had to put a stone with it. #oceanjasper

dsfisher Alice has been one of my most favorite authors as her writing is so lyrical and stories are compelling. 2y
Craftylikefox Love Alice Hoffman! I have never been disappointed reading her books 2y
Allkat Yes! Turtle Moon and Illumination Night.🐢🌔 2y
ladym30 Love the way she writes! 2y
97 likes4 comments
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Ajessgirl
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Nothing better than a Sunday morning of a long weekend!

JoScho Right! No feeling of Monday creeping in on us. Totally need this three day weekend. 2y
BookBabe Is this Le Pain Quotidien? 2y
Ajessgirl @BookBabe Yes! Very impressive cafe spotting! 2y
40 likes3 comments
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Ajessgirl
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Just started, and am loving it so far! It‘s rare that a non-thriller captures my attention so quickly. Excited to discuss at the #2030somethingbookclub!

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StephanieGeiser
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Finished 11/13/2016 - We read this for book club a couple of years ago. I don‘t remember loving it but many of the ladies in my book club that love historical fiction loved it.

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angieinwonderland
Pickpick

I really enjoyed the rich character development and appreciated the strong women characters. I liked the ideas and actions they put forth that went against their norms, but found that history repeated itself in a way that was frustrating and hypocritical.

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heatherkaz
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@JillPill I don't know where to start! You have spoiled me and these all sound great! I can't wait to dive in. ❄️🎁❄️💜
Wow!
#secretsantagoespostal
#wintersolsticebookexchange

JillPill I'm so glad you like everything!! This was my first book exchange on Litsy so I'm glad it went well!! :D 2y
41 likes1 comment
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lauren.lerner
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Day #24 of #NovemberbytheNumbers: the twenty-four books currently on my #BOTM shelf. Upright are the books I‘ve read, stacked are #TBR. Only missing A Gentleman in Moscow & Future Home of the Living God (#upnext & #currentlyreading respectively), which are on the side table in my reading nook. I just #bookrainbow-ed these yesterday & I love how it turned out. 📚🌈

BibliophileMomma Such a pretty pic! 2y
48 likes2 comments
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Cinfhen
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#NovemberByTheNumbers I‘ve highlighted #15 books that were published in 2015 and I‘ve actually read all #15🌞My favorites were tagged book, A Little Life, Nightingale, Fishermen, Girl on the Train, and Seven Good Years🐠🕊🚂👰👬🇮🇱

LeahBergen I‘ve read 3 and have 3 others waiting on my shelves. 😄 2y
batsy Wow! Nicely done 👏 I've read...one of those books 😂 2y
ApoptyGina69 Very cool!! I‘ve read 9, but plan to read the others as well. 👍📚 2y
See All 46 Comments
Cinfhen Hahaha @batsy which one??? Which 3 @LeahBergen ??? Which 9 for you @ApoptyGina69 I‘m guessing everyone read 2y
AudreyMorris I've read 5 of these--my fave of those was 2y
merelybookish Nicely done! I've read two. A Little Life and Dates and Furies...hated both. 🤷 2y
LeahBergen The Girl on the Train, In a Dark Dark Wood and ... yep! Fates and Furies. 😄 2y
Cinfhen I really disliked Fates & Furies too @merelybookish but it has stayed with me years later, so that‘s impressive...I can‘t believe you haven‘t read ALL @LeahBergen 😱 2y
batsy The Girl on the Train! I enjoyed it 👍 2y
LeahBergen I know!! It‘s sitting on my shelf! 😮😮 (edited) 2y
Cinfhen I‘m always amazed at how gorgeous Mara writes @AudreyMorris but I don‘t really enjoy his books 😩they‘re soooo depressing 2y
LeahBergen I was one of the odd ones who liked Fates and Furies. 😆 2y
TrishB Well done 👍 I've read 5 😀 2y
LeahBergen I DID read Girl - the flying messages made that confusing. 😂 It was A Little Life I was referring to. 2y
batsy @LeahBergen Buddy read A Little Life in 2019? 😂 2y
LeahBergen @TrishB And what was your fave of those 5? 2y
LeahBergen @batsy Didn‘t we mention buddy reading this one before? 😂😂 2y
batsy @LeahBergen Hahaha whoops 😂😂 2y
LeahBergen @batsy And I can‘t remember all the others we‘ve mentioned! 😆 2y
AudreyMorris @Cinfhen that is the only one of his I have read--but I love short stories that connect. Love. Them. And he did it really well. I also loved 2y
AudreyMorris And I'm the weirdo who did not like . I love Brooks and was soooo disappointed. 2y
TrishB @LeahBergen probably ALL, followed by The Marriage of Opposites and Nightengale. I really, realy didn't like Girl.... 2y
batsy @LeahBergen Me too 😄 I need to maintain a Litsy file and open it every time I'm here 😌😂 2y
LeahBergen @TrishB I have The Nightingale on my TBR. 2y
LeahBergen @batsy Yes - and give me reminders. 😄 2y
shadowspeak17 I‘ve only read The Tsar of Love and Techno (which I enjoyed 😊), but four of these are on my TBR. 2y
TrishB @LeahBergen it's good (& I can't spell this morning!) 2y
erzascarletbookgasm I‘ve only read ONE, and five on my TBR shelf. 😅Well done, you! 👍 2y
Cinfhen @AudreyMorris I was so disappointed with Brooks‘s novel too☹️It didn‘t work for me 2y
Cinfhen @erzascarletbookgasm which was your one? 2y
Kalalalatja I have read 4, The Fishermen, Fates, A Little life and City on Fire, and CoF was the only one I didn't love 😄 2y
Cinfhen @Kalalalatja I didn‘t care much for COF; it was wayyyy too long but the premise was good 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Read The Girl on the Train. The Fisherman, Nightingale, Fates, Dark Wood and Little Life TBR 2y
Cinfhen I think u can skip or at least wait a bit longer to read 2y
Ms_T Great stats! I‘ve read three of those 😕 2y
Cinfhen Which are your three @Ms_T ??? 2y
Ms_T @Cinfhen A Little Life (which is in my top 5 favourite reads of this year), The Girl With All the Gifts and, of course, The Girl on the Train. You have some great titles in your fifteen! 2y
DebinHawaii I have only read one of these (The Girl on the Train) but some of the others are in my #TBR stacks. 2y
Cathythoughts I read A Little Life &Fates &Furies. Loved both. Especially A Little Life 👍( also read Girl on the train, but not a fan ) (edited) 2y
RebelReader I have read 7 of them. My favorites were In A Dark Dark Wood, Descent and Did You Ever Have A Family. I usually love Geraldine Brooks, but not a fan of The Secret Chord. One of my book groups is reading Fates & Furies in early 2018 and several more are sitting on my shelf begging to be read! #TBR 2y
ElishaLovesBooks I really enjoyed The Marriage of Opposites but I was so disappointed with The Girl on the Train. Also, I liked but didn‘t love The Nightingale-it just didn‘t have the depth I was expecting. This is a great list though 🤗 2y
Cinfhen I get that Nightingale was a little trite @ElishaLovesBooks but it made for good book club discussion 2y
ElishaLovesBooks @Cinfhen I read it for book club too!😊 2y
Cinfhen Wow🙌🏻7 is a lot @RebelReader I was surprised by Did You Ever have a family It was soooo sad and I was disappointed with Secret Chord too. Descent was good too, very suspenseful 2y
Reviewsbylola I‘ve been meaning to read the Clegg. 2y
118 likes2 stack adds46 comments
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sdbruening
Marriage of Opposites | Alice Hoffman
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Pickpick

This was my first audiobook borrowed from the Overdrive app. And my first audiobook ever. Worked out wonderfully on my 35-45 minute drive to work. Anyway, this was a great historical fiction story. Filled with loss and heartache and unfaithfulness but also filled with joy and wonder and love and enchantment. Loved the headstrong lead female characters like Rachel, Adele, and Rosalie. And the kind men Frederic and Henri. Not so much Camille...

TrishB Loved this 👍 2y
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sdbruening
Marriage of Opposites | Alice Hoffman

“He brought home a feather,‘ my mother said contemptuously. ‘He would have done better with a woman.‘ ‘Well, she‘s a feather weighted down with money.”

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sdbruening
Marriage of Opposites | Alice Hoffman

Women of every faith have power; they just have to find it within themselves. -Adele

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GirlWellRead
Pickpick

Hoffman is one of my absolute favourite authors. I love art history (being an art history major), and couple this with Hoffman's exquisite writing, I couldn't put the book down. I loved it! Her writing and descriptions are so beautiful. The way she described Pissarro's paintings gave them the respect they deserve. He was after all a founding father of Impressionism. I love the build of the story, pick it up, you won't be disappointed.

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danimgill
Pickpick

This was a good - although at times long-winded - historical fiction story about a woman named Rachel who grew up fighting against the rules of her strict Jewish community on St. Thomas and her life/family. Embarrassed to say I didn't realize she was based on a real person and that her son Camille was THE Camille Pissarro the painter until nearly the end of the book. A lovely story about home and growing up to understand your parents and history.

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Stokesy82
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I love how these two sentences capture the passion and the wistfulness of Rachel Pomie's life In Hoffman's The Marriage of Opposites.

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danimgill
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Nothing better than starting a new read on a sunny summer Friday! ☀️?

This will be my "takes place over 150 years ago" for the #litsyreadingchallenge

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CoffeeCatsBooks
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Pickpick

Set on St. Thomas in the 1800's, Rachel strains against the confines of her small Jewish community.

I really enjoy Alice Hoffman's writing and thoroughly enjoyed this novel, which is based on the life of Rachel Pizzarro, mother of impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.

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Foragingfantasy
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Does anyone else wish there was a section for books you own but haven't read? It would make secret book exchanges so much easier and would prevent multiple copies of the same book being gifted. Books we want to read, books we own, and books we've read. I've suggested it, but I don't think @Litsy understood what I meant... That said, I ❤️ Litsy. Yesterday's book haul.

Reviewsbylola Yeah, it can be difficult to buy books for others. I always make a note that my Litsy TBR is only books I do not already own. Goodreads is another story, however it is easy to make different shelves over there to differentiate. 2y
Wife I like the idea. I find GoodReads cumbersome to use and haven't used it in months. 2y
Foragingfantasy @Wife Me too. I don't enjoy goodreads. 2y
Hooked_on_books I think that's a great idea. I'd also add books I never want to read. 😂 2y
33 likes5 comments
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BraveNewBooks
Marriage of Opposites | Alice Hoffman
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My first lunchtime book date in a long time (work has been crazy). Feels like such a treat! ❤️

#booklunch #bookdate 📚🍲🍽️

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Kyliejohood
Pickpick

Loved it! Great piece of historical fiction. Really more about Camille Pissaro's mother than himself...but also about them both. They were far more alike than Different. The audiobook had rich narrator's but Hoffman's storytelling is haunting.

TrishB Loved this too 💗 2y
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Kyliejohood
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You couldn't see love, or touch it, or taste it, yet it could destroy you and leave you in the dark, chasing after your own destiny.