S. & S. Nov. 2016. 272p. ISBN 9781476799209. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781476799261. F
This latest from accomplished novelist Hoffman (Practical Magic; The Museum of Extraordinary Things) follows Long Island teen Shelby Richmond's life after a tragic car accident puts her best friend, Helene, in a coma. Though some residents of the small town claim that visiting Helene causes miracles, Shelby doesn't buy it. After the accident, she goes through many stages of grief, attempts suicide, and shaves her head. She also begins receiving cryptic postcards from a modern-day guardian angel, but it takes a friendship-turned-romance with the local pot dealer to get her out of her parents' basement and into a tiny apartment in Manhattan. Once there, she develops an interest in animals, rescuing several dogs she encounters, which helps her find purpose and cope with other personal tragedies. Throughout the novel, there are instances of coincidence, synchronicity, and strong symbolism from both pop culture and world religion. As long as readers are willing to suspend their disbelief, these magical elements will draw them into Shelby's world.
VERDICT Recommended for Hoffman's fans and readers of romance and fiction that features dogs. [See Prepub Alert, 5/2/16.]
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