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The third angel : a novel
Alice Hoffman
Adult Fiction HOFFMAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this elegant and stunning novel, veteran heartstring-puller Hoffman (Here on Earth; Seventh Heaven) examines the lives of three women at different crossroads in their lives, tying their London-centered stories together in devastating retrospect. High powered New York attorney Maddy Heller arrives in 1999 London having had an affair with Paul, her sister Allie's fiance,; she must now cope with the impending marriage, and with Paul's terminal illness-which echoes the girls' mother's cancer during their childhood. Hoffman then shifts to heady 1966 London and to Frieda Lewis, Paul's future mother, who falls for a doomed up-and-coming songwriter knowing he will break her heart. The narrative then shifts further back, to 1952 and to Maddy and Allie's future mother, Lucy Green. A bookish 12-year-old wise beyond her years, Lucy sails with her father and stepmother from New York to London for a wedding. There, she becomes an innocent catalyst to a devastating event involving a love triangle. Hoffman interweaves the three stories, gazing unerringly into forces that cause some people to self-destruct ("There was no such thing as too much for a girl who thought she was second best") and others to find inner strength to last a lifetime. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In a haunted London hotel, the lives of three women intersect across time. A jealous sister cheats with her brother-in-law to-be, a chambermaid beguiles a rock star by composing an original lyric, and a 12-year-old girl is enlisted as go-between for doomed lovers. In each vignette's time warp, the hotel ghost conducts his nightly seventh floor rampage. Hoffman's unsettling and compelling 20th novel weaves the sadness and loss of ordinary people coping in extra-ordinary ways into tensile strength. The book and audio share the same haunting cover art depicting the fragile third angel who anonymously walks among us to give us aid. Reader Nancy Travis is able to unravel the threads of interlocking plot pieces without drawing the spotlight, allowing the story to outshine the voice reading it. Essential for fiction collections. [Hoffman's Here on Earth was an Oprah Book Club selection in 1998.--Ed.]--Judith Robinson, Univ. at Buffalo (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Maddy Heller
New Yorker
Had an affair with her sister's fiance, Paul; mother passed away from cancer when she was a little girl.

Had an affair with Maddy; engaged to Maddy's sister; struggling with terminal illness.

Frieda Lewis
In love with an up-and-coming songwriter.

Lucy Green
Age: 12
Travels with her father and stepmother to London for a wedding.

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