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Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman
Alice Hoffman tells the story of Blackbird House, a small farm on Cape Cod, with each chapter about a different set of the house's inhabitants. It was built by a family in the early 1800s, but disaster strikes during a fishing trip, leaving only one son alive and the pet blackbird turned white, which would haunt the farm for the rest of the novel. Later, Blackbird House is owned by a man who lost a leg to a huge halibut, and who falls in love with a widow who wears red shoes, the mark of a witch. Stories like this populate Alice Hoffman's book, not quite a novel and not quite a short story collection, where disaster, misfortune, love, and death test the mettle of its occupants. Blackbird House has received mostly positive reviews with the Seattle Times saying, "Blackbird House details the spaces between time, the evolution of a home and the heartbreak, love and sadness that transpire as new occupants move in and leave. Hoffman masterfully plays with the tensions between character and place, creating a setting so vivid that it breathes and bleeds along with her characters."