Skylight Confessions Review
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On a dark night, a man stops to ask for directions, and it completely sends his life spiraling down paths that he hadn’t planned and would not have chosen. John Moody falls under the spell of a redhead who has just buried her father. For three days, he spends his time in bed with her until finally he has a dream about pears, rocks, and breaking glass. The spell is broken, and he realizes he’s in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong girl. He leaves her while she’s sleeping. But she follows him.

On the night of her father’s funeral, Arlyn Singer makes a bargain with herself. The next man who walks down her street is the man she will marry. It wasn’t hard to bring John Moody under her spell—all she had to do was undress in the kitchen, and what man can resist a naked woman, even if she isn’t a classic beauty?

  
 
Arlyn and John marry and have a son. As the years go by, Arlyn comes to realize that maybe marrying the first man to walk down her street was a bad idea. They don’t love each other, and John works all of the time—and cheats on her, just as she cheats on him. But she loves her son, Sam, beyond anything. John thinks he’s a strange child and refuses to spend any time with him at all. Yet they struggle onward with the marriage.

Skylight Confessions continues through three generations of heartbreak, death, and secrets. Ghosts are haunted by the living and ghosts haunt the living. Decisions are made and regretted. Yet life persists and must be lived until your end comes.

At first, I had a bit of trepidation about reading another novel by Alice Hoffman, because I couldn’t get through Practical Magic. The movie was just the sort of thing I love, but the novel couldn’t pull me in. But I have now grown to appreciate the literary style, and I can dip into the deeper meaning embedded within the story and come away with something interesting to think about, which makes it worth the journey. And this trip is even better—because Ms. Hoffman adds a bit of the paranormal to her story.

Skylight Confessions draws you in and tosses you in the middle of a family’s turmoil and fragile life. You feel for these people, even knowing they’re messing up their lives by making unwise choices. You feel for them because you know you’ve done the same thing with parts of your own life. Ms. Hoffman’s characters are so deeply drawn that you feel actual loss when one of them dies.

Deep, dark, but occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, Skylight Confessions will linger in your mind for days afterward. You’ll fall in love with this story as I did, but first you’ll have to appreciate the style these sorts of novels are written in. Give it a chance; I think you’ll be glad you did.

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