I’m reluctant to give too much information about the plot of Alice Hoffman’s Here on Earth. I didn’t really know what it was about going in, and I think that made it a much more compelling and surprisingly good read (especially for a novel I grabbed for $3 back on recognition of the author’s name only). That’s probably because lines like the following, which can be read in different ways and therefore reveal different things about the characters:
“Unfinished business always comes back to haunt you, and a man who swears he’ll love you forever isn’t finished with you until he’s done.”
March Murray and her 15 year old daughter have returned to March’s hometown after 19 years, when a long-time friend of the family passes away. March has been married this whole time to a man she met in her hometown, but he wasn’t her first love. That was Hollis — her family adopted him when they were children, and they always had a strange and powerful bond. But Hollis walks out one day, without coming back, and so March moved on, got married and had a child.
Returning home affects March strongly, and seeing Hollis even more so. They pick up where they left off, and I’m stopping there not to spoil anything. It’s a dark and twisty read, full of lies and secrets and characters who are not what they seem. An excellent glass of wine in the bathtub sort of book. I was sorry when it ended, and plan to hunt down some more Alice Hoffman ASAP.