When the women in the Sparrow family reach thirteen, they develop a unique ability. In young Stella's case, the gift, which is both a blessing and a curse, is the ability to see a person's probable future. Stella foresees a gruesome murder, and tells her charming, feckless father about it, but it is too late - the murder has already been committed and suspicion falls on him.
Hoffman unlocks the caskets of family life and the secret history of a community in this magical story about young love and old love, about making choices - usually the wrong ones - about foresight and consequences, all suffused with the haunting scent of roses and wisteria, and the hum of bees on a summer evening.
"Magical and entertaining; at times positively bewitching... That Hoffman is a highly capable storyteller is in no doubt. Hoffman's latest novel possesses the irresistible quality of a compelling fairytale for adults"
"A great atmospheric storyteller... Her books are a real pleasure"
"Like her contemporaries, Carol Shields and Alice Munro, Hoffman has an acute yet tender eye for detail... Hoffman writes with heartbreaking clarity"
"An enchanting page-turner of a novel... Charming, utterly absorbing and very enjoyable, this book will leave you wanting move"
"Alice Hoffman is a daring and able writer; she plots conjunctions of mundane and magical events with such ease that the reader never doubts her word"