September’s Central Book Discussion: The Third Angel

The Central Book Discussion group met on Tuesday the 8th to discuss The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman. While not everyone had finished, we still had a lot to talk about. Here are a few things that people had to say:

  • Readers generally enjoyed the author’s writing style. One reader remarked that she found it easy to relate to the characters and story, and enjoyed the author’s simple, descriptive writing style. As she put it, the author “lets the characters say what they are seeing.” Another person, who has read other books by Alice Hoffman, said that she will sometimes read a phrase, and then sit for a moment and reflect on it.
  • One person said she wished she had known that the story, “The Heron’s Wife,” was at the end of the book. We all wondered if Hoffman wrote that story first and then wrote the book, or vice versa.
  • We talked about how the book has three chronological sections, moving backwards in time, with the same characters. One reader said she wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if she had read it chronologically. Another person mentioned that she sometimes needed to check to see who was who, but liked how the characters were different, and then changed as time went on.
  • We had some general discussion about the characters, and how we felt about some of them. One reader felt that she didn’t like Maddy (or Allie) too much, although she found the characters to be compelling. Another reader said she wasn’t sure if she liked them, but found them to be realistic. We talked about how certain characters showed up in a very small way in the first part, only to have more of their story explored in the next section.
  • Lastly, we all wondered: who is the Third Angel? Is it one of the characters? Is it more than one character? We found we all had a different idea on this, which made for a pretty interesting discussion.

We welcome more discussion, so please feel free to leave a comment! Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, October 13th, to discuss Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.

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About centerforthereader

St. Louis Central Library, Center for the Reader, is where you can find fiction, reading suggestions, author information, and much more!
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