I really, really love Alice Hoffman. Her books are so magical, yet at the same time so down-to-earth, so grounded. They draw the reader in immediately and don't let go. In fact, I've been known to save my copies of her books for when I have to fly somewhere - flights go by very quickly when I'm in her world.
My favorite of hers is still Practical Magic (way better than the film, by the way); although the others I've read, The Ice Queen and The Probable Future, were also very good. The oe I just finished this morning on my way to work, The River King, didn't disappoint either. Its haunting story and characters are still in my head.
The action takes place in a town in Massachusetts, a town probably like many others, except that this one is the home of a snooty boarding school. A lot goes on in this school - a gang of boys torture newcomers with cruel initiation ceremonies; the ghost of the dead wife of the first headmaster haunts the grounds; an elderly teacher who seems not to care for anyone or anything punishes herself for past actions; and two new unlikely students arrive. The River King is their story, one of strong ties, of love that transcends, of guilt, of sadness, of cruelty. It is touching, enchanting and haunting all at once. And, just like in real life, it's easy to misjudge people. Nothing is what it seems.
I definitely recommend this, as I do all of Alice Hoffman's books.
Challenges: A-Z Challenge, RIP III, Naming Conventions