Cover Image: Everything My Mother Taught Me

Everything My Mother Taught Me

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Member Reviews

Alice Hoffman always delivers hauntingly beautiful stores and this one is no exception.  Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this amazing novel.
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Enthralling story, loved the voice and the richly drawn characters. The mother was truly a terrible, selfish person but her daughter’s will and wit helped her survive. The ending was delightful.
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This was a short story that did not disappoint! I quickly connected with the main character, and I was so surprised by that!  It's hard sometimes to get to know the characters in such a short time, but not with this story!!

If you are a fan of Alice Hoffman, you'll need to grab this!!
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I basically love anything that Alice Hoffman right, so I was thrilled to read this book.

Our main character is Adeline, a 12 year old that lives with her flighty unloving young mother. Soon after her father's death, Abilene becomes a self-imposed mute, not responding to anyone with words. This is a short and wonderfully written story about a young New England girl that is trying to find a place for herself in this world. Although this is a short story, I came to love Adeline and all she stood for. Excellent quick read.

I would like to thank Alice Hoffman, Amazon Original Inheritance Collection and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this short story in exchange for fair and honest review.
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I don’t want to say too much about this, because it is a short story.  It’s way to easy to get into spoilers if I keep talking, so I’m going to keep it real brief.

What I will say is that Ms. Hoffman has entered my auto-buy list.  I have read a few of her books lately and I am always stunned at the depth of character and richness of emotion she is able to instill in to her work.

I know you’re not supposed to make comparisons, but I’m going to make two very favorable ones for this short story.  First, a little backstory, I really don’t like short stories except for ones written by Alice Munro.  A prolific writer known for her well crafted short stories about normal every day people, this story reminds me of Ms. Munro’s writings. Everything My Mother Taught Me, is part of a collection of shorts by Ms. Hoffman called The Inheritance.  I’m definitely going to look it up and read them all.  That’s a big deal for me.

Secondly, it reminds me of a book that is actually completely different in nearly every way from the thriller, Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr, but I can’t help thinking about it when I read this short.  If only because it covers the idea that not all women are cut out, or meant to be mothers.  Unfortunately, because our society values motherhood, sometimes to the exclusion of all else, as the ultimate goal of womanhood some women have children who are singularly incapable of caring for them.  The book by Caleb Carr was the first time I’d ever seen that idea voiced and I’ve thought about it often since then.

Ok, so I’ve beaten all around the bush in order to keep from getting too far into the story, but you really should read this.  It’s excellent and not very long, so you’re not sinking a huge time investment into it.  I think though you’ll be glad you did.  As always, Ms. Hoffman writes women in an honest, believable way that I always enjoy.  I hope you will to.
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Thank you, NetGalley, for providing this ARC. Alice Hoffman doesn’t disappoint as  the teller of this short story about Adeline,  a 12 year old girl who lost her ability to speak after the death of her father. Her runaround mother takes her to the mother’s new job as housekeeper at a lighthouse which housed 3 families. The mother soon disrupts the status quo and Adeline helps out a young wife and ultimately herself.
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This book was hard for me to get into.  i did finish it and it wasnt bad.  Just not one of my favorites.
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Yikes I forgot to note my review. Short or long I love everything Alice Hoffman writes. Can’t wait for her next book.
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First i must say big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this lovely copy!
I absolutely love Alice Hoffman, her writing is so smooth and beautiful.
The only bad thing about this book is that it's only 28 pages short story.
Would recommend this book definitely.
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Adeline is observant and knows that her mother is as faithless as her father is faithful. Her mother always told her to keep her mouth shut, and she didn't speak after her father's death. They move to an old lighthouse where Adeline's mother is the housekeeper, and she remains a silent witness to what goes on there.

Adeline is twelve and it's 1908, so options are limited for women. No one says much when her mother hits her, or when there is domestic violence on the island. In keeping with the times, that sort of thing was felt to be best handled within the family. Her mother has no particular love for her, but one of the other women on the island does take on a more motherly role for her. She blossoms under that attention, even without speaking, and the two bond and remain friendly regardless of the stresses placed on them.

This is a short story within a collection of other stories specifically written for Amazon. Alice Hoffman has a wonderful way of evoking the atmosphere of the time period even with a shorter span of pages, and it carries the same melancholic feeling that some of her longer works can have. Relationships are key here, as they are in the novels she writes, and the strength of nurturing relationships is quickly described. This makes Adeline help her surrogate mother escape abuse when no one else will step in, and gives her the hope she needs for a better life.

I've always been a fan of Alice Hoffman novels, and this short story is just as good. The only downside? It's a short story. I would have loved to see this story continue in a novel-length, so I know what happens next.
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this. I will be posting a full review to Goodreads, Amazon, and Instagram.
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EVERYTHING MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME by Alice Hoffman is a great short story from a master storyteller.  She can bring more impact and magic to just a few pages than most authors can bring to a complete novel.  It’s obvious she’s one of my favorite authors but I hadn’t read anything this short by her before.  I love how developed the story was – centering around a young girl like many of her stories do, and how she takes on something bigger than herself by stopping talking to avenge her father.  The relationship between the mother and daughter is compelling, the writing smart, and the story concludes appropriately in my opinion.  A nice way to pass the time with a fantastic author. Thank you to Amazon Original Stories and NetGalley for this advanced copy.  All opinions are my own.
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Everything my Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman is a 2019 Amazon original collections story- Inheritance Collection #1 (listed as a 5 part series of short stories)

Don't let the idea of this story being 28 pages deceive you, because the impact it has left - I can honestly say that it has stayed with me more than perhaps a 500 page novel. An incredibly moving story about a mother & daughter set in the 1900s that captivated me from the very first sentence. Adeline, a twelve-year-old girl, who is at the mercy of her very abusive, selfish, and sadly, neglectful mother. After her father dies, Adeline deliberately becomes mute, and refuses to speak. Because the story is so short, I don't want to give away more of the story line, I wanted to give you an intro so that you get as invested as I did for this one! Believe me, to say very little is so tough. A MUST READ!

It's available as an Amazon/Kindle exclusive and I would highly recommend it for less than $3CDN or even less if you are on the US Amazon site.

I am so thankful  to have received this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
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Amazing richness and depth of character for so short a story. The warrior spirit in one so young, you cannot help but cheer this young girl on. But it is a Hoffman story, so there shouldn't be a surprise.
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After her loving father's death, Adeline, stops speaking,  She lives with her cruel mother who works in a lighthouse. Despite her muteness she's highly observant and sees and understands more than it appears. 

Adeline's future  looks quite bleak until she quite cleverly finds an ally and arranges a brighter future for herself. The way she does so is surprising and brings sweet justice to those who deserve it

This short story packs lot into it's 28 pages and is beautifully written. Highly recommended!
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Everything my Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman is a short story, part of the Inheritance Collection #1.

We find ourselves rooting for Adeline, 12, whose mother is selfish and neglectful. Adeline's father dies, and she decides to become mute. Her mother, whose ways remain unchanged, finds a job working as a housekeeper and cook for the families who keep a lighthouse going. Through friends and allies she makes on this island, she is able to break away and create a better life for herself.

Well-developed characters and the story ended far too soon.
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I loved this story! The atmosphere is one of my all-time favs - a lighthouse island setting. 
My only complaint is that a full set of short stories wasn't included, as this left me wanting more!!
This was a 5 star read for me due to wonderful setting, characters Im invested in that left me too soon, and a wonderful plot/story.
And, as always, gorgeous writing.
Im so thankful to be sent this for review! Im a Hoffman fan for life.
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Alice Hoffman's writing is always very simple stories that are full of intrigue, bad acts, and good outcomes. No matter whether she is writing a long novel or a short story, like this one, it is so full and complete. Hoffman is able to pack so much into the 25 page long Everything My Mother Taught Me. This is the story of a young girl in the early 1900s Boston area who losses her father to illness and has to go live on a lighthouse island with her mother. It was a beautiful story of a girl's chance to rebel and yet do good at the same time. 

I do not know that there is an Alice Hoffman book I have disliked but I very much enjoyed this story and would recommend it to even those who dislike short stories.
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Would recommend this book for a book discussion. Very short but a good read. Not the usual Alice Hoffman.
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I'm not normally a fan of short stories, but Alice Hoffman was able to create a wonderfully detailed short story in 28 pages! I don't know if I've ever read a short story with so much packed within its pages. With a gorgeous cover and a title like this you'd assume this would give you a case of the warm fuzzies by the end. Well that's not necessarily the case although there is always hope. The only downfall is that it wasn't a bit longer. I really want to know what happened to Adeline after surviving a mother like hers .
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