The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

The Probable Future

byAlice Hoffman

Kobo ebook | June 1, 2004

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**Alice Hoffman’s most magical novel to date—three generations of extraordinary women are driven to unite in crisis and discover the rewards of reconciliation and love. **

Women of the Sparrow family have unusual gifts. Elinor can detect falsehood. Her daughter, Jenny, can see people’s dreams when they sleep. Granddaughter Stella has a mental window on the future—a future that she might not want to see. 

In The Probable Future this vivid and intriguing cast of characters confronts a haunting past—and a very current murder—against the evocative backdrop of small-town New England. By turns chilling and enchanting, The Probable Future chronicles the Sparrows’s legacy as young Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance. Her potential to ruin or redeem becomes unbearable when one of her premonitions puts her father in jail, wrongly accused of homicide. Yet this ordeal also leads Stella to the grandmother she was forbidden to meet and to a historic family home full of talismans from her ancestors. 

Poignant, arresting, unsettling, The Probable Future showcases the lavish literary gifts that have made Alice Hoffman one of America’s most treasured writers.

Title:The Probable FutureFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:June 1, 2004Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345478401

ISBN - 13:9780345478405


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hoffman is still a favourite Beautifully written magic realism. The story of the Sparrow women: their history, the relationships between them, the effect they have on their small town, and how people are not always what they seem. 4/5
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great Hoffman book The females of the Sparrow family are all born in March and on their thirteenth birthday, wake up with an unusual ability. Elinor, the eldest of the family has the ability to tell when anyone is lying. Her daughter Jenny has the ability to see other's dreams and Jenny's daughter Stella has the ability to see how people are going to die. Despite the Sparrow women being unified by these abilities, their family is dysfunctional. Jenny married good-for-nothing Will Avery, whom Elinor immediately took a dislike to because she could tell that he was lying constantly. Their relationship was already strained because Elinor was not there for Jenny the way she expected her to be. This just makes the relationship even worse. When Jenny and Will have a child, Jenny tries to keep Stella away from Elinor although to two secretly communicate. Circumstances lead the two back to the small town of Unity and Jenny's childhood home of the Cake House. Each learns more about their family and about themselves as they try to live together. This book pulls you in right away with the unique premise that these women wake up with a gift on their thirteenth birthday. While I liked most of the characters and understood where they were coming from, I found Stella to be unnecessarily rude and took a disliking to her right away; one that I couldn't get over for the rest of the book. Really, this is a book about finding yourself and determining how one fits into their family. Despite my dislike for one of the main characters, I still found the book enjoyable.
Date published: 2010-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hoffman at her best! Imagine a family whose past begain in the birth of 'gifts.' To this one family line, the women are all given a gift on their thirteenth birthday. When she was young, Jenny Sparrow found herself able to dream the dreams of others, and suffered under a bad relationship with a mother whose gift was to immediately tell who is lying. Jenny ran away with the wrong type of boy, and it is soon the time for her own daughter to turn thirteen. And Stella, her daughter, gets a the most terrible gift of all: she sees the future - but specifically, how people will die. When Stella tries to prevent a murder, and her father - who acted in her stead - is the one accused of the crime, Jenny has no choice but to send her daughter to live with her mother. There, Jenny and her cancer-ridden grandmother Elinor learn a lot about fate, death, and just what it means to be alive. Events conspire to force Jenny, and her husband, to return to the city they ran away from, and before long, passions and gifts are intertwining. With typical Hoffman elegance to the prose and emotionality of the characters, 'The Probable Future' was an absolute joy to read. I am a huge fan of Hoffman to begin with, but this one is on par with 'The Blue Diary' and 'Practical Magic', two of Hoffman's best. I read it in one extended setting (with bothersome interruptions of meals and work), and cannot wait to pass this along to another Hoffman fan. If you've never read Hoffman, you simply must read her for her elegant style, her immediacy in writing in the present tense, and her beautiful use of power, magic, and folklore in the evocation of characters.
Date published: 2006-07-19