Here on Earth

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Here on Earth

by Alice Hoffman

January 9, 1997 | Hardcover

Here on Earth is rated 3 out of 5 by 13.
After nearly twenty years of living in California, March Murray, along with her fifteen-year-old daughter, Gwen, returns to the small Massachusetts town where she grew up, to attend the funeral of Judith Dale, the beloved housekeeper who raised her. Thrust into the world of her past, March slowly realizes the complexity of the choices made by those around her, including Mrs. Dale, who knew more of love than March could have ever suspected; Alan, the brother whose tragic history has left him grief-stricken, with alcohol his only solace; and Hollis, the boy she loved, the man she can''t seem to stay away from.

Format: Hardcover

Published: January 9, 1997

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0399143130

ISBN - 13: 9780399143137

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good story, but hated the main characters 3.25 stars March has been gone from her small New England hometown for 18 years, but has returned with her 15-year old daughter, Gwen, for her housekeeper's (the woman who raised her) funeral. Her husband has stayed in California, and March is flooded with memories, in particular of her first love, Hollis, who is once again living in town. Too easily, March is drawn back to Hollis; meanwhile, Gwen is surprised to find that she likes it here. I have a hard time liking a book when I hate the main characters. As an adult, anyway, Hollis is an a$$ and March is just stupid. I really liked Gwen, though, and the story was pretty good. I just couldn't rate it higher due to how much I hated Hollis and March.
Date published: 2011-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "a great read" This book is absolutely consuming, couldn't put it down, finished in one sitting, I definately recommend, great love story, with a twist
Date published: 2009-04-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I quite liked it! I'd heard mixed reviews of this and kept putting it off, but I quite liked it. I found the story kept me wanting more and I especially liked the young characters of Gwen and Hank. I found the "dark love" story between March and Hollis was believable and I was pleased that she had made her own decision about her future at the end -- that it wasn't made for her by circumstance.
Date published: 2008-09-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not on Earth I enjoyed this one for the first few chapters or so, but as it went on it felt harder and harder to deal with. It was as if it started off as an updated Wuthering Heights, so windswept and gothic…but then took a flying leap off of the cliffs of the heights to crash into the ocean below. Would Heathcliff have become as beloved a tragic hero if he slept with every piece of tail in and around the Grange? If he was a murderer of horses, and the type of man who left bruises whenever he didn’t get his way exactly as he wanted? I don’t believe so; and Hoffman, by making her Hollis all this and more, has lost so much of the reader’s sympathy. Her lead female becomes nothing but a caricature mash-up of a bad mother and the living dead. The one thing that saves Hoffman is her prose. Everything’s well written and pretty—even in the story’s moments of ugliness. I didn’t think it was worth the subject matter, but I would try her again in a different endeavor.
Date published: 2008-05-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not her best work I wasn't so keen on this book. I am a huge fan of Alice Hoffman to begin with, and this is not a recent novel. And it is written in her usual evocative style, but, somehow, it left me a little cold. Mostly, I believe it was because there was no typical Hoffman magic or mystery to the story. A woman named March returns to her home town with her daughter when her housekeeper dies. After the funeral, she finds herself drawn towards a young man who was raised in her household by her father, with whom she had a strong, nigh co-dependant relationship with in her youth. They start an affair, the relationship definitely takes a sombre turn (or three), and then, all at once, the book sort of ends. The ending was almost trite, actually. Much like 'Second Nature,' this one didn't do much at all beyond mundane and angry relationship angst, and it left me a little tired on behalf of all the characters concerned. Indeed, there wasn't a single character in the tale for whom I felt relief, or gained a sense of 'they've been saved' about, which is something I adore about Hoffman usually. Even the language seemed less lyrical and immediate. Perhaps I just need a break from her, but either way, this in no way reached the intense wonderful levels of writing I know and love Hoffman for, like in 'Blue Diary,' 'River King,' 'Practical Magic,' 'Local Girls,' and 'The Probable Future.'
Date published: 2007-02-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Perhaps the abridgement hurt it I wasn't so keen on this book. Now, granted, I'll happily caveat that this was on an abridged audio edition by Nova, and I am a huge fan of Alice Hoffman to begin with, and this is not her recent novel. But, somehow, it left me a little cold. Mostly, I believe it was because there was no typical Hoffman magic or mystery to the story. A woman named March returns to her home town with her daughter when her housekeeper dies. After the funeral, she finds herself drawn towards a young man who was raised in her household by her father, with whom she had a strong, nigh co-dependant relationship with in her youth. They start an affair, the relationship definitely takes a sombre turn (or three), and then, all at once, the book sort of ends. The ending was almost trite, actually. Much like 'Second Nature,' this one didn't do much at all beyond mundane and angry relationship angst, and it left me a little tired on behalf of all the characters concerned. Indeed, there wasn't a single character in the tale for whom I felt relief, or gained a sense of 'they've been saved' about, which is something I adore about Hoffman usually. Even the language seemed less lyrical and immediate. Perhaps I just need a break from her, but either way, this in no way reached the intense wonderful levels of writing I know and love Hoffman for, like in 'Blue Diary,' 'River King,' 'Practical Magic,' 'Local Girls,' and 'The Probable Future.'
Date published: 2006-06-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I've read worse I read this book when it first came out about 4 years ago, and as a 16-year-old I related a lot to the daughter in the story... but, in general, it wasn't a cheery book. I think it was well-written though, and the rough reviews are a bit harsh. Definately not a show-stopper, but if you like reading and have nothing else in queue, give it a go.
Date published: 2006-02-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Snore... I had read the reviews and I really though this would be a good one. The problem I found with it was that there were WAY too many similarities with Wuthering Heights. Frankly, I became quite annoyed and I ended up not enjoying the book at all.
Date published: 2003-05-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A fine piece of storytelling Alice Hoffman is a wonderful storyteller, and Here on Earth kept me turning pages all afternoon. A dark and lovely novel of love and obsession and the stark reality of the consequences of our choices.
Date published: 2001-05-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dreary and Boring A complete waste of time! The title character is a poor excuse for a wife, mother and woman. The setting is very drab and I struggled to finish it. It should have been a Harlequin Romance.
Date published: 2001-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a good book! I really enjoyed reading Here on Earth. It was really hard to put it down once I started reading it. It really showed how blind love can really be. The main character, March, even seemed to be in a daze of her surroundings. It was quite interesting that the narrator kept changing, revealing everybody's thoughts. I've never read a book by Alice Hoffman, but I really liked this one!
Date published: 2000-12-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gripping!!! It was weird it wasn't the best book I ever read, however I could not put it down. I started at 7:00 pm one evening and finished at 4:30 am the next morning. I think it made me remember my childhood's first love, and what would ever happen if we met again 10 years later.
Date published: 2000-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Page Turner!! Here on Earth was a book I couldn't put down. When March Murray returns to her home town with her teenage daughter, she reunites with her first love, Hollis. In the beginning I truly felt sorry for the young Hollis but as a grown man I found him to be mean and controlling. I was even scared of his character. March at times needed to get her head examined. She had a wonderful husband who loved her dearly and a daughter who cleaned up her act. March was so mismerized by Hollis, that she chose him over her family and didn't believe what her friend Susie or anyone else in town had to say about him. This book was excellent but the ending left too much to the imagination.
Date published: 2000-06-07

– More About This Product –

Here on Earth

by Alice Hoffman

Format: Hardcover

Published: January 9, 1997

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0399143130

ISBN - 13: 9780399143137

From the Publisher

After nearly twenty years of living in California, March Murray, along with her fifteen-year-old daughter, Gwen, returns to the small Massachusetts town where she grew up, to attend the funeral of Judith Dale, the beloved housekeeper who raised her. Thrust into the world of her past, March slowly realizes the complexity of the choices made by those around her, including Mrs. Dale, who knew more of love than March could have ever suspected; Alan, the brother whose tragic history has left him grief-stricken, with alcohol his only solace; and Hollis, the boy she loved, the man she can''t seem to stay away from.

About the Author

Alice Hoffman, an American novelist and screenwriter, was born in New York City in 1952. She earned a B.A. from Adelphi University in 1973 and an M.A. from Stanford in 1975 before publishing her first novel, Property Of, in 1977. Known for blending realism and fantasy in her fiction, Hoffman often creates richly detailed characters who live on society's margins and places them in extraordinary situations as she did with At Risk, her 1988 novel about the AIDS crisis. Other novels include The Drowning Season (named a "notable book of 1979" by Library Journal) and Seventh Heaven, which first gained Hoffman a broad national audience. She has also written many screenplays, including adaptations of her own novels.

From Our Editors

The author of such best-selling novels as Seventh Heaven and Practical Magic creates her most glorious fictional world to date in a spellbinding tale of love and obsession. After nearly 20 years of living in California, March Murray and her daughter Gwen return to March's small Massachusetts hometown. Thrust into the world of her past, March slowly comes to realize the complexity of the choices made by those around her, including Hollis, the boy she once loved -- now the man she can't seem to keep out of her life.
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