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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice Hoffman at her very best
If you have never read an Alice Hoffman novel, then this book is probably the best place to start. It is filled to the brim with her beautifully metaphoric language and you find yourself immersed into the lives of the women, whom the book is created around.

The interweaving story lines, atmospheric locations and development of the characters run like a...
Published on 18 Sept. 2006 by M. Cookson-carter

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rain, Rain and more rain!!!!
A captivating storyline, with each successive generation of women, since the strange appearance of Rebecca Sparrow in the 1600s having a different power.
Reebcca couldn't feel pain,Elinor can see lies, Jenny sees other peoples dreams.
Hoffmann continues her theme of strong, resilient women throughout the book. There are some good bits and there is a definite...
Published on 7 Mar. 2013 by Hilary


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice Hoffman at her very best, 18 Sept. 2006
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This review is from: The Probable Future (Paperback)
If you have never read an Alice Hoffman novel, then this book is probably the best place to start. It is filled to the brim with her beautifully metaphoric language and you find yourself immersed into the lives of the women, whom the book is created around.

The interweaving story lines, atmospheric locations and development of the characters run like a blood-line through the novel until you reach the end and feel a large sense of sadness that these people will no longer be a part of your day.

Wonderful, but read on. Read: Blue Diary, Blackbird House, Here on Earth, Turtle Moon and River King to name but a few and you will catch onto her regular use of metaphors, such as birds and her captivating, sometimes dislikeable, but always fatefully strong women.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!, 17 Jan. 2006
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Lily (Sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Probable Future (Paperback)
Alice Hoffman has been compared with Anne Tyler and Carol Shields. I have to say that I didn't agree - until now. This book is simply one of the best books I have read in a long time. It has a magical, unreal quality and humanness about it. She makes the characters come alive for you - you care about them. It really is a lovely story to get lost in. I just can't put it down. I borrowed this book from the library. I haven't even finished it but want to buy it for myself - and when I saw the other reviews I had to put the record straight!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Probable Future, 14 Sept. 2014
The Probable Future tells the story of the Sparrow family. A family that only produces girls in the month of March. But this isn't the only unusual thing. On these girls thirteenth birthday, they awake with a gift - weather that be: feeling no pain, dreaming other people's dreams, or being able to detect a lie.
So when Stella Sparrow turns thirteen, she discovers she is able to see a person's probable future. And when she foresees a gruesome murder, she confides in her feckless father...but too late. The murder has already been committed and the suspicion fall upon him.
This was my first Alice Hoffman book and I found the story was an easy one to get into. The plot got started pretty much from the word go and I didn't have any problem flipping those pages. It really is an uplifting story of mistakes, bad choices, wrong paths, and forgiveness.
And as well as Stella's present dilemma, we also explore the previous Sparrow women, which was an intriguing layer and a strong point of the narrative. The past story of these women was woven really nicely with the present one, and I enjoyed that there wasn't a 'then and now' structure this book - it was simply tangled in the moment. It really gave it an importance and urgency to the that part of the narrative.
The characters as a whole were interesting. The relationships and dynamics between the generations of mother and daughter was a fascinating one to delve into, and I appreciated the depth put in there. Every single character developed very well throughout the story and by the end, it was more than satisfying to see how much they'd grown.
Alice Hoffman's writing was brilliant and captivating and beautiful. She has a way of describing emotions and experience with compassions and care, which was really lovely to read.
As for the plot, I did feel it unfolded in a rather predictable way. I wasn't particular shocked by any outcomes and could predict pretty easily where the story was leading. Though having said that, this isn't really a story out to shock. It's about these characters - their struggles and mistakes.
However, my biggest issue with this book, was the romantic relationships that were depicted. I just didn't buy them. They seemed to have no basis and I had trouble understanding why these people liked one another. Though with that said, I do understand this is a story about wrong choices, so it's to be expected to have a fair few depicted. But that doesn't change my frustration with certain parts of this aspect.
So overall I would give this book 3.75 stars. Throughout reading the book, the rating did waver a fair amount, depending on my frustration, but with the satisfying ending, and the problems I had with the story resolved by the end, it did definitely redeem itself. And I will be sure to pick up another Alice Hoffman book in the future!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rain, Rain and more rain!!!!, 7 Mar. 2013
This review is from: The Probable Future (Paperback)
A captivating storyline, with each successive generation of women, since the strange appearance of Rebecca Sparrow in the 1600s having a different power.
Reebcca couldn't feel pain,Elinor can see lies, Jenny sees other peoples dreams.
Hoffmann continues her theme of strong, resilient women throughout the book. There are some good bits and there is a definite sense of time and place, but there are way too many repetitive descriptions. April rain, daffodil rain, blue rain, lake rain. Snapping turtles, toads, frogs. If I read them once, I read them a hundred times .I assume the author was portraying, good and evil, black and white etc but it just all got a bit muddled . The thread of the story also didn't seem to hold together at the end either, with some odd character appearing, intent on more than mischief, with little explaination.
Also a bit confused as to the time this book is taking place. No mobile phones, no PC's, no TV, yet it appears to be in todays age. Little strange, that Matt trudges through his thesis with a trusty pencil!!
Overall , some great bits, but perhaps could have been so much better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Probable Future (Paperback)
I have loved reading every Alice Hoffman book, I love the way she writes
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 April 2015
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Really enjoyed this book. Love Alice Hoffman's writing
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 25 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Probable Future (Paperback)
fantastic author busy collecting all her books.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 12 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: The Probable Future (Paperback)
I love this book. Alice Hoffman writes in a free-flowing page, turning style which had me hooked from the very first page. I have to admit that I am an ardent fan of hers and have read many of her books. To be fair, I haven't loved them all but this one, I did. If you've not read Hoffman before, why not give this one a go? You won't be disappointed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 24 Jun. 2015
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not bad
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great disappointment, 16 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: The Probable Future (Paperback)
I was captivated by the mystery/magic blurb about this book and have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the first 200 pages - hence the 3 stars.

Unfortunately, the final third of the book was so boring that the most exciting thing to happens was that one character dyed her blond hair black. I can't think of anything else that happened, but maybe I skipped a word or two and missed something important - I doubt it.

The closure to the murder sequence got back to the rhythm of the main story but (sadly) was squeezed into the last 20 pages and as another reviewer has said, it was never really resolved (a stranger turns up in the end who did it - don't bother looking for clues).

Finally, I don't know when this book was set, but obviously it was in a time with no personal computers, no cell phones, no answerphones, no Xerox machines and no carbon paper (I've never heard of anyone writing a Masters thesis without an almost complete copy available), but a time period with teenage goths. Hmm. Presumably it was just a convenient period so the author wouldn't have to do too much work.

It was an awful disappointment. Don't bother.
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The Probable Future
The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman (Paperback - 5 Aug. 2004)
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