Reviews

At Risk by Alice Hoffman

felinity's review against another edition

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4.0

In some ways this feels dated, but in others it takes me very vividly back to the paranoia and fear of the late 80s and early 90s. The strength is in the people and their very individual reactions: the way they can draw together or pull themselves apart, the sacrifices that are made, and the friendships that are changed.

SpoilerIt's not depressingly sad, nor does it dwell on all the things Amanda can't, or won't, do, instead just touching on them briefly. And I think it's more powerful for that.

angie_k's review against another edition

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3.0

This book was ok. Easy to read but I kept waiting for a bit of a twist or turn of events. Sweet story but it left me wanting more. I was reading it on my kindle and was quite surprised when it just ended. (I didn't have the progress turned on at the bottom). I think it ended too quickly!

jessdone's review against another edition

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3.0

While I love Alice Hoffman, this book just didn't draw me in. I'm calling it quits here and closing the "now reading" tab because I'm not reading this book.

It's well constructed, and I could see how the book would become something I'd like, it just didn't pull me into it's narrative. Wrong time and wrong place. I may attempt reading this book again later.

misslezlee's review against another edition

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4.0

Another book from the bought decades ago to be read pile. The blurb on the back of the book just says there is a tragedy that overtakes a family and town. It doesn’t say what the tragedy is and I didn’t read the reviews here on Goodreads so I was bit alarmed when I discovered that it was about a virus. Not the one that’s currently running a worldwide pandemic, but one from the 1980s. I decided to continue, despite the fact that everyone in the real world is already emotionally fraught and riding their own roller coaster. I’m glad I did because it’s really an exploration of family dynamics and relationships between neighbors and colleagues. It’s beautifully written, too.

I think I must have bought this book, although I can’t remember. I’m uncertain because the characters include both a research scientist and a photographer who is working on a book about a psychic who holds seances. Coincidence? Who knows?

stitchandwitch's review against another edition

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3.0

This book has taken me MONTHS to read. It's very sad, and a little boring... Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors so I'm very dissapointed in how I feel about this book... For what it was the book was good, but it's not at all the genre I'm interested in, or the genre I'm accustomed to from Alice Hoffman... She doesn't usually make me cry...

caterpillar's review against another edition

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inspiring sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.25

tennilles's review against another edition

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challenging emotional informative inspiring sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

readitall199's review against another edition

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5.0

I really loved this novel. It is about hysteria and prejudice and what may happen to unravel a family.

Polly and Ivan find out that their eleven year old daughter, Amanda has contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion after surgery. Slowly the small town they live in is mired in a controversy over weather they want their children to attend school with Amanda. There are many small moments that capture the sudden loss of slowly losing a child - what would that be like for a family who loves each other? Amanda wants to continue gymnastics competition but is losing weight and very weak.

The book shifts POV between members of the community, Polly, Ivan, the doctor, Charlie - their young son.

Hoffman is a keen observer of small beautiful details in nature in human characters.

taisie22's review against another edition

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4.0

In this era of a global pandemic, I found a resonance with this book about the AIDS epidemic. In this case, the story focuses on one family and the effect of an AIDS diagnosis when their eleven-year-old daughter, a budding gymnastic star, is diagnosed with AIDS due to a blood transfusion. Mother, father, and brother are all deeply impacted as well as the other townsfolk and family. This is in the early days of AIDS when there was still a lot of misinformation and fear (much like today with Covid-19).
Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors, so I was happy to find a book of hers that I'd missed reading. The story is both poignant and infuriating as new bonds are forged and old friendships lost. As I watch my fellow American citizens try to deal with the current pandemic, I recall how poorly our government assisted in the AIDS crisis and how helpless many medical people felt in dealing with their patients, and how fear overrode common sense for many people.
This book is a small but well-written time capsule that reminds one how everything goes around, very apropos for our times.

kerrykerryboberry's review

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Phenomenally depressing circumstances, not very likeable or engaging characters, situation really didn't age well.