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Friday, September 16, 2011

Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman

After her father's death, Arlyn Singer follows what she believes to be her destiny and weds John Moody. Completely mismatched, they wade through marriage and early parenthood, sometimes just barely keeping it together.
A devastating disease tears the family apart, leaving John to parent his troubled son and baby girl in a literal house of glass. Life moves on with a new wife and the help of a nanny. Yes, life moves on. But it isn't easy, as three generations of this family discover.

Hoffman's generational tale follows the paths taken by Arlyn's family. Each member faces what it means to live in the "Glass Slipper" house and beyond. It follows the family's potential devolution as Sam's brilliance is sucked away through drugs and alcohol, and Blanca is driven away by forces she hardly understands. As heartbreaking as it is hopeful, many layers of depth can be found buried in these pages.

Numerous point-of-view shifts make some scenes hard to follow, but this is otherwise a very readable novel. Skylight Confessions will speak to anyone fascinated by family structure and the human spirit.

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