Alice Hoffman: The Marriage of Opposites

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This year’s Denver Jewish Community Read book is “The Marriage of Opposites” by New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.

“As lush and evocative as one of Pissarro’s paintings.” USA TODAY


Alice Hoffman

The Marriage of Opposites


You’ll love THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES if:  You love anything Alice Hoffman has written and didn’t have the slightest clue the painter Pissarro was Jewish and lived on St Thomas.


Alice Hoffman has been called “America’s literary heir to the Brothers Grimm,” and her luminous and remarkable “fables of the everyday” have enchanted readers since the publication of her first novel. More than 30 years later, with numerous acclaimed and bestselling novels, including Dovekeepers and The Marriage Of Opposites, as well as two short story collections and many books for young adults, Hoffman continues to seduce readers into her vividly imagined world.

Hoffman’s highly anticipated new novel, Faithful, is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world after tragedy destroys her best friend’s future and leaves her to walk away with the burden of guilt.

About  The Marriage of Opposites:

A forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro—the Father of Impressionism.

In the early 1800s, Rachel, the daughter of the pillar of the small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, dreams of a life of her own in faraway Paris. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children in order to save her father’s business. When her husband suddenly passes away, Rachel is given the opportunity to seize her own life and enters into a passionate love affair that affects her entire family.

“Rachel could easily have remained the focus of this beguiling novel, but as Hoffman begins to write from the point of view of the color-bedazzled, sly, rebellious, and charming boy who will become the renowned painter Camille Pissarro, a leader and mentor among the impressionists, we see the world afresh as a perpetual dance of radiance and darkness, form and space. Of course, Hoffman herself is an artist, rendering each setting with sumptuous and incandescent detail and capturing every shade and hue of suffering and bliss.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist Online