Book Review: Everything My Mother Taught Me

Author: Alice Hoffman
Pages Count: 24 pages
Format: Kindle Book
Genre: Short Story

Rating: 5 out of 5.


In early 1900s Massachusetts, Adeline moves to an island off the tip of Cape Ann alongside her mother who agreed to be a housekeeper at a lighthouse. Vowing to never speak again, Adeline watches as her mother tears a family apart. However, Adeline’s silence does not stop her from acting, and when a woman disappears from the island, Adeline is the only witness.


Everything My Mother Taught Me is a very interesting, and it is a lot more of a slice-of-life story. It narrated by Adeline – the main character, – and her commentary on her mother’s actions, and how her mother’s action’s affect other characters.

Adeline is mute by choice, so the story only has a handful of dialogue. Normally, I am someone who can’t read stories that don’t have a lot of dialogue, but this time the lack of dialogue actually made the story better. The dialogue that we do have end up coming from the adults, and not the children. That ended up changing the tone of the story a lot for me, because though the main character was a child, the tone of the book was very much an adult speaking. Again, normally I wouldn’t like stories that have those contradicting aspects, but because of the topic of the story I ended up liking it a lot.

This was an incredibly fast read, and it was easy to get lost into the narration. Though some of the sentence structure felt weird to me, it wasn’t enough to effect my enjoyment of the story or to even lower my rating. I think it was something that i did end up getting used to.

My favorite part of this entire story was how the author connected the weather to very important parts of the story. Every time something big was happening to the main character, there was the mention of how the weather was that day. And it is such a small little detail but as the story developed, it starts to become prominent in understanding the main character’s mood. It really adds that spin to show don’t tell.

Overall, I highly enjoy and recommend this book. I think that it is a great read if you are looking for something quick and easy to read on your Kindle.

You could grow to love something so strong and elemental, but you’d have to value the beauty of it more than you did your own life.

Everything My Mother Taught Me


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I haven't read this but… THE AESTHETIC

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