Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Probably Future by Alice Hoffman

The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

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.

First Line: "Anyone born and bred in Massachusetts learns early on to recognize the end of winter."


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