I bought Seventh Heaven on a whim, after searching high and low for a book that came out 25 years ago, required by my 2015 reading challenge. I looked in the New York Times book review archives. I checked Goodreads best-of lists. I asked family and friends if they knew of anything that had been published in 1990 that was good. In the end, I picked a book at random off a list, bought a used copy online, and absolutely devoured it.
I was entranced by this book from the first page. For one, I absolutely love the writing style. It’s mystical, realistic but not, and flows so beautifully. It reminded me of a Tim Burton film.
Another reason I really loved this book, though, was Nora. Nora, the only divorced woman on her block, or maybe in her whole town, who just wants a friend. Nora, who doesn’t understand why nobody will befriend her son, or why the other mothers don’t want to have lunch, or why her American Dream of a cute house in the suburbs just isn’t working out the way she wanted it to.
In fact, I really loved almost all of the characters in this book. Sure, some of them are terrible people. But they all have entrancing stories to tell. All of their stories are interconnected. All of their stories are important. Nora has such an impact on all of them.
I may have picked this book up on a whim, but I will definitely seek out more of Hoffman’s books.
For my 2015 reading challenge, I crossed off #30: a book that came out the year you were born.
Final rating: ★★★★☆