If Alice Hoffman isn’t my favorite writer, she’s pretty close. I’ve read all of her novels—many more than once, and today, I have a short story of hers to recommend to her legions of fans.
“The Bookstore Sisters” is a standalone short story selling very briskly on Amazon. It tells the tale of Isabel and Sophie, two sisters who were once very close, but are now estranged. Isabel, a painter, has fled the Maine island the sisters grew up on for New York City—where she isn’t exactly thriving. Sophie is still on the island, struggling with the bookstore that has never exactly bloomed.
Their story unspools the way you want it to, with the usual delightful touches Hoffman does better than most writers: enduring the pain of loss, excavating difficult but loving family relationships, bringing the reader fully into the story—plus snappy dialogue, romance and maybe just a touch of magic.
If you’ve never read anything by Alice Hoffman, this story would be a great place to start. And current fans will enjoy this delicious morsel of a short story.
“The Bookstore Sisters” is available through Amazon as a Kindle Unlimited read, a standard Kindle download, or as a delightful audiobook. Highly recommended.
You can find it here.
Kate Wolford is editor-in-chief of The Fairy Tale Magazine.