If there really were a Museum of Extraordinary Things, this book would be in it.
I’ve been a fan of Alice Hoffman ever since the day I picked her novel Second Nature out of a teetering stack on the bargain table—for a mere $2.99! Best three bucks I ever spent. Like Second Nature, The Museum of Extraordinary Things is Alice Hoffman at her best; painting the complicated topography of the human heart with a subtle and expert brush. Alice—yeah, I call her Alice in my head instead of Hoffman or Ms. Hoffman, because I love her books so much I feel like she’s a good friend—anyway, as I was saying: Alice gives us a prism of magic through which we can view an ordinary world rendered fantastic without succumbing to belabored and clichéd romanticism, and she can tackle sometimes difficult, distasteful, even deplorable subjects, without resorting to stridency or sermonizing.
I wish I could write like her, and that’s the highest praise I can think of.