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March returns to her childhood home with her teenage daughter, Gwen, to attend the funeral of the housekeeper who brought her up. Unexpectedly, though, the visit rekindles in March a passion for an earlier unrequited love. Overwhelmed by her emotions, she abandons her marriage and life commitments in pursuit of the affair. But her lover is a man of strange secrets with a violent streak, and she soon discovers him to be a Bluebeard with a sinister collection...Here on Earth is both a darkly compelling love story and a fantastically detailed portrait of small-town life, rife with gossip, tensions and murky pasts. An Oprah Winfrey Book Club Choice.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099750819
ISBN-10: 0099750813
Format: Paperback
(200mm x 131mm x 18mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 11-Jun-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » Leaving her husband behind at home in California, March Murray travels east to their old hometown for a funeral and is drawn almost immediately into darkly obsessive unfinished sexual business with old flame Hollis. Meanwhile her wayward daughter and reluctant travelling companion Gwen, finds herself through her perfect love for a vicious old racehorse and struggles with her mother's apparent temporary insanity. Hoffman brilliantly evokes the eeriness of the frosty New England landscape and the sometimes welcome claustrophobia of small-town living as a backdrop to her network of troubled lives afflicted by love. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » From the author of Practical Magic (1995), among others, a kind of inside-out Bridges of Madison County in which the middle-aged mother of a teenager falls in love with a bad man, leaves her husband for him, and winds up abused and isolated. The results are predictably depressing. It might seem that March Murray has purely sentimental reasons for leaving her apparently happy life in California (nice house, professor husband) to attend her former housekeeper's funeral in Jenkintown, Mass., the bleak, suffocatingly tiny town where she grew up. After all, Mrs. Dale did help March's father raise her after the girl's mother died, and she remained a loyal friend until her death. But anyone who knew March in her teenage years must suspect that her real reason for returning with sullen teenage daughter in tow is for a reunion with Hollis, the bad boy March was once inseparable from. An abandoned child and the product of a series of detention homes, Hollis was brought to the Murray house as a charity-case boarder when he was in his teens. He kept his own counsel, except when sending smoldering glances March's way. The two became lovers until a misunderstanding split them apart - March to marry the rich boy next door, Hollis to amass a fortune, marry March's sister-in-aw, and survive her to wait, brooding, for March's return. Their heated reunion leads to the breakup of March's marriage, and, despite the warnings of practically everyone in town, March moves into Hollis's gloomy mansion, puts up with his neurotic possessiveness, and watches him scare her daughter back to California before she realizes that the Hollis she lives with now is nothing but the evil, heartless relic of the wounded boy she once loved. A chilly, hopeless love story with an unhappy conclusion. Hard to see what readers will find to like in such a tale. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of acclaimed novels, including Practical Magic (a Hollywood film), The River King, Blue Diary, Turtle Moon and most recently Skylight Confessions. Blackbird House was shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. She divides her time between Boston and New York City.

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