“THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES,” BY ALICE HOFFMAN


Mrs. Hoffman’s, “The Marriage of Opposites,” might fall a little short of her, “The World that We Knew, ” which I felt was a piece of literary brilliance, but not by much. It lacks the suspense of “The World that We Knew,” but its characters surely make up for the suspense. They are so well developed over a long time span, that when you finish reading the novel you sense a sudden sadness and loss.

Mrs. Hoffman’s understands nature, and the creatures and plant life that inhabit this planet like very few authors I have read. At once she reminds me of Joseph Conrad, Truman Capote, and Toni Morrison, and yet her style is her own.

She, like in her previous novel, tackles the subject of the Jewish religion, and its taboos, and why the Jewish people at times seem to flock together. The reason being the amount of prejudice the Jewish people have suffered for many centuries.

The book takes place mostly on the Island of Saint Thomas during the first half of the eighteen century, and is controlled by the Dutch who for the most part accept all people of different faiths and nationalities and set free their slaves before President Lincoln did in the U.S. with the Emancipation Proclamation. Yet traditions and fears still exist, and only gradually dissipate.

Another astonishing piece of literature by Ms. Hoffman. 

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