To celebrate the birthday of one of my most beloved authors, we have created this hop! Today, March 16, Alice Hoffman turns (a lady never tells!)  So please follow the hop, read how her stories have inspired many.  Fall in love with her beautiful tales as we have.  More than anything, join me in wishing Alice a heartfelt Happy Birthday!

“When I walk, I walk with you. Where I go, you're with me always.”
~Alice Hoffman~~The Story Sisters

“Is she alive?” Her words echoed throughout the car. Driving past the scene of the accident, my sister already on the way to the hospital, my Mother insisted we stop to ask the police officer.  He leaned in and said yes.  She let out a puff of air, relieved. But I knew there were a thousand ways to be alive and dead at the same time, people did it every day. 

I saw my world as Elv did.  Elv the eldest of the three girls in Alice Hoffman’s novel The Story Sisters.  She is the main character of the work.  I loved The Story Sisters from the moment I picked it up, and as it is with such a wonderful story, I never did put it back down.

 “It’s pancreatic cancer,” the doctor said grimly.  I took in a sharp breath before asking the obvious question.  Will it be fatal?  I could tell by the doctor’s expression that he was as ignorant to a person’s fate as I was.  It wasn’t his fault, I knew that one survivor stood for every dozen that didn’t.  I knew that no amount of love or worry was going to change how the story would end.  I locked my emotions away. Crying was a worthless weapon.

Elv knew loss from an early age.  Loss of trust, loss of safety, loss of love, she understood that feelings were a weakness.  She locked her heart away and tried desperately to stop caring.  She never could quite manage it though and instead of allowing others to hurt her, she hurt herself first.  What was pain added to more pain, it was nothing at all.

“Had you loved him?” I asked myself that sunny day I saw their wedding invitation.  I think I did, in a very peculiar way.  I loved his smile, his laughter, the fact he could somehow steal anything from anywhere.  I’d loved the way he hugged me, as if he hadn’t seen me in decades and he always hung on longer than most huggers did.  I knew I had loved him, but I also knew why.  He changed who I was when I was with him.  I became the best version of myself.  Loving him was like loving me too.  I suddenly hoped that the girl on the invitation hugged him longer than anyone else did and that when he was with her he felt extraordinary.  I missed him. I missed myself.

Elv fell in love, she found her Prince.  Only it’s not always that clear.  Her Prince was flawed because she had fallen in love with a human.  Elv had taken on the weakness of love, but was unprepared for how heavy love could be.  When it came to the day that love was lost, I, as well as Elv, understood that love could be your greatest strength, even in sadness.  We understood that true love was meant to be effortless. 

“I think she’s a hopeless case,” he said.  I had wondered the same thing about her myself.  Up close, it certainly seemed that way.  Even she told us to forget about her.  I was angry and hurt but I’d known her all her life.  I’d seen her first steps, I had known how to rock her to sleep, I’d been watching her even when she thought I was paying no attention at all.  I knew that people didn’t change completely.  She was still inside, beneath the rage, the pain and the scars.  Like a seed beneath the earth, she was there, and one day she would bloom.  On that day, I would feel our unbreakable connection turn her walls to ash.  I knew she was there; I just needed to wait for her.

Elv’s story is about waiting.  It’s about waiting for someone to save you, and the harsh lesson that one must ultimately save themselves.  Her story is about blood.  That you can spill it with your tongue, that it binds us all the same.  Elv’s is a story of coping.  Of knowing things aren’t going to work out the way you’d planned.  That the right person’s arms can make all the difference in the world.  The importance of feeling the pain when you’re ready. Her story is a fairytale.  The good and evil can look eerily similar, patience is essential; love is what makes you fight for your kingdom.  Elv’s story is mine, and perhaps it is yours as well. 

I don’t think I could ever thank Alice Hoffman enough for giving me Elv’s story. 

It gives me hope for my own.

All My Love,

See how Alice Hoffman has touched others.  Follow the hop.
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3/16/2013 04:47:55

Hopping over for the blog hop, I've just recently come across Alice Hoffman and loving her books ! such great stories.

3/16/2013 08:09:41

Wow, that sounds like a powerful story indeed. I can see why it had an impact on you.

3/16/2013 09:24:01

Elv is amazing. And your interpretation of her essence is intricate and passionate. I have to confess I share the same deep love for The Story Sisters. It's an amazing novel. I remember that night we were tweeting and we were like…we should do something:)

Thank you for being so gung-ho and working so hard with me on this. Visiting all the blogs today has been a wonderful experience and given me much to think about and ponder over. I'm still absorbing everyone's posts and the way each of us find entry into the worlds Alice Hoffman creates.

Elv is a powerful point of entry as you've shown us here.

"Love is what makes you fight for you kingdom." That is brilliant. I will keep that gem forever.

Jess, it has been an adventure, and it's wonderful to see it come to fruition today. It has been a joy throwing this birthday party for Alice Hoffman with you.

Thank you. Namaste. Heidi

3/16/2013 12:29:01

"The Story Sisters" kept me company for one long night in which the loud rain decided not to rock me to sleep as usual, but to keep my eyes from closing. I still remember thinking that it was the perfect atmosphere for a book that I found to be quite dark. I must confess I felt rather at home, for I too was lost, my mind a mess of thoughts that refused to quiet down. That was, of course, until I started reading the book.

"Elv’s story is mine, and perhaps it is yours as well."

Indeed. I remember describing Alice Hoffman's novels as enchanting. They seem to grab you by the hand and lead you to a world where you can see parts of yourself interacting as different characters. It's a whole new world to which you seem to belong... and you are not alone, not on your doubts, not on your fears, not on your desires... What else could you ask from a book? What else could you ask from an author?

3/17/2013 03:04:25

Jessa--your post makes me want to read the Story Sisters once again. I loved it the first time, but I have forgotten many of the quotes you mention.
What a fun experience this blog hop has been Thank you so much for your part in making it happen!


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