Seventh Heaven
Alice Hoffman

Book cover image

Narrated By: Hillary Huber

Duration: 8 hours and 48 minutes

What to expect

Nora Silk doesn't really fit in on Hemlock Street, where every house looks the same. She's divorced. She wears a charm bracelet and high heels and red toreador pants. And the way she raises her kids is a scandal. But as time passes, the neighbors start having second thoughts about Nora. The women's apprehension evolves into admiration. The men's lust evolves into awe. The children are drawn to her in ways they can't explain. And everyone on this little street in 1959 Long Island seems to sense the possibilities and perils of a different kind of future when they look at Nora Silk.

This extraordinary novel by the author of The River King and Local Girls takes us back to a time when the exotic both terrified and intrigued us, and despite our most desperate attempts, our passions and secrets remained as stubbornly alive as the weeds in our well-trimmed lawns.

Genre

Fiction: general and literary, Fiction: general and literary, Historical fiction

Listen to a sample

“Beautifully told.”

People

“Stirring, stunning…by far [her] best book.”

Time

“Brilliant and astonishing…Suffused with magic. If ever a book deserved to be called ‘haunting,’ this is it. In every sense of the word.”

Cosmopolitan

“Marvelously sly…[a] wonderful blend of humor, shrewdness, and compassion.”

New York Times Book Review

“Part American Graffiti, part early Updike, Seventh Heaven simultaneously chronicles the coming of age of a group of teenagers in a Long Island town and the gradual dissolution of their parents’ repressed, middle-class world…A parable about changing times and changing values.”

New York Times

“Seamless storytelling…vivid characters…a lively pace and plenty of surprises.”

USA Today

“Terrific…Seventh Heaven is one of those rare novels so abundant with life it seems to overflow its own pages…Her storytelling gifts are those of a master.”

Newsweek

“Before you know it, you’re half in love with the ordinary people who inhabit this book; you’re seduced by their susceptibility to the remarkable.”

New Yorker

“A pleasure…Seventh Heaven is not only entertaining—it gives one new respect for tender suburban dreams.”

Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A consummate joy…magical.”

Washington Post Book World

“[A] deft blend of magical realism and sociological truth.”

Chicago Tribune

“Literary magic…A beautiful, deceptively simple story about ordinary life in an ordinary housing development nestled beside the Southern State Parkway…Hoffman breaks down the barriers of time, distance, and reticence. She takes us inside the houses of Hemlock Street and shows us how our ordinary neighbors—like ourselves—are both unique and universal, and worthy of love.”

Newsday (Long Island, NY)

“Powerful…sparkling…Seventh Heaven is a major accomplishment.”

Boston Globe

“Spellbinding.”

Boston Sunday Herald

“Touching and evocative…Reading it can quickly transport you to cloud nine.”

Houston (TX) Post

“In the full flowering of her extraordinary talent, Hoffman has produced a wise, poignant and uplifting novel luminous with the sensitive evocation of ordinary lives…As usual she tells more than a compulsively readable story. She does magic, she unsettles you, and she leaves you feeling emotionally purged and satisfied.”