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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Everything My Mother Taught Me

Everything My Mother Taught Me - Alice Hoffman

Honestly, Alice Hoffman writes short stories like no one's business. She is the first short story in Amazon's "Inheritance Collection" which looks at five fiction masters reveal that what is past is passed—inside households, across generations, and within the families of our own making. I honestly am not in the mood to read all of the short stories though. I read Hoffman's and loved it and went ehh on the second story and decided to cut my losses at this point. Hoffman's story hits high notes and makes you feel as if you are standing alone with the main character (pre-teen Adeline) in the 1900s in Massachusetts. 


"Everything My Mother Taught Me" follows young Adeline who is grieving her father. Her mother she understands does not love her and did not love her father while he was alive. Because of the times, the two are forced to go off so her mother can find work as a housekeeper to a set of lighthouse keepers off the tip of Cape Ann. Hoffman describes a desolate place that slowly becomes beautiful to Adeline. Adeline has not spoken since her father has died, but she can see what is happening all around her. And once again she realizes that her mother is only showing one side of herself to others. 


I loved this story from beginning to end. Hoffman makes short work of packing punches in her stories. There's a reason why I have read most of her anthology work at this point. She makes you feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere along with Adeline watching how her mother is slowly wrecking another person's life. 


I loved the ending and wanted to read more which is all you can ask for as a reader when you get to the end of a very good book, or in this case, short story.