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Summary

Women of the Sparrow family have unusual gifts. Elinor can detect falsehood. Her daughter, Jenny, can see people's dreams when they sleep. Granddaughter Stella has a mental window to the future - a future that she might not want to see.

In Alice Hoffman's tour de force, this vivid and intriguing cast of characters confronts a haunting past - and a very current murder - against the evocative backdrop of small-town New England. By turns chilling and enchanting, The Probable Future chronicles the Sparrows' legacy as young Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance. Her potential to ruin or redeem becomes unbearable when one of her premonitions puts her father in jail, wrongly accused of homicide. Yet this ordeal also leads Stella to the grandmother she was forbidden to meet, and to an historic family home full of talismans from her ancestors.

©2004 Alice Hoffman (P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Delicious....Hoffman is an unapologetic optimist, and optimism is in short supply these days. It feels like a vacation to curl up with [The Probable Future]." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"Spellbinding....Of all the magical realists writing today, she may have the best sense of balance." ( Portland Oregonian)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • lil' old me
  • 17-07-16

Another excellent Hoffman novel

I am becoming a huge fan of hers, & this book merely solidified it. The narrator was perfect for this especially--her range is quite good. Hoffman's stories always have such depth and contain strong and unusual female characters. love it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie
  • 06-07-15

Loved it

Great magical realism. Good narrator. A bit cheesy sometimes but manageable. I found it s nice distraction

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-05-17

Nice, gentle story for when you feel bad.

Having a bad day? This book is going to make you feel better. Great book for fans of Sarah Addison Allen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan Weston McMillan
  • 03-06-15

If you like happily ever after...

Started off dark, interesting, and completely mesmerizing. But turned syrupy sweet and too good to be true.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon Nemeth Murch
  • 03-10-10

Stirring and beautiful

The plot in this book is okay, but Alice Hoffman simply stirs the soul with her beautiful writing and profound insights. You can recognize her books by the touch of magic in their pages.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dawn
  • 13-03-16

Should be categorized as Young Adult

Having enjoyed other Alice Hoffman novels, I thought I'd give this one a go. Such a waste of time: silly and juvenile. Give this one a pass and find something a little more adult.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Li Be
  • 22-12-16

Saccharine

I found this story boring, repetitive, and too YA romance-y for my taste. I thought the magical realism would be fun but it was written in such a way that it was never believable. I made myself listen to the end and found myself shouting at the characters and accurately predicting next lines of description and dialogue. Not my kind of book.

The narrator tried to do the various voices but utterly bungled the New England accent and mispronounced town names in Massachusetts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy U
  • 22-12-16

Where was the story?

Really struggled with this book. I kept waiting for something interesting to actually happen. There isn't really much of a plot and the story just meanders. I decided to get to the end and as expected nothing interesting happened.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 14-11-16

Love Alice Hoffman

I enjoyed this book very much and the reader was great. I loved the magical realism interwoven into the story. Not sure why I didn't give it five stars. It was earth shattering but I bet I listen to it again one day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • kathleen
  • 14-11-16

Great! True Hoffman. Mystical, real, balanced.

Human,loving,accessible.; alchemy of earthly human experiences, magic, hope to the faith we learn through them,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful