Arlyn Singer believes in destiny and love. On the night her father dies she’s sure fate will send her true love to her. But destiny seems to be playing a trick when he sends her John Moody who is dreamy Arlyn’s opposite. Their marriage leads them and their children to a glass house in Connecticut built by John’s father, a place of skylights and fairytales, of ghosts and regret. Their son, Sam, is a brilliant, explosive artist. Daughter Blanca is a beautiful loner who tries to protect her brother from his demons and his destiny and who lives in a world of books. Will, Arlyn and John’s grandson, is left to put together the mysterious pieces of their family, a puzzle of people who don’t know the first thing about love. All families make their own rules, and the Moodys are no exception.
When I first started this book—just four hours before I finished it—, I thought that maybe, just maybe, Alice Hoffman wouldn’t made me love something she wrote this time. I was wrong. The book started with thoughts of a girl who never had the chance to be a girl, instead she was being a woman with a brain that wouldn’t ever be adult. Never.
Arlyn has just lost her father, a ferryboat captain that had his life turned down by a disease, and it was logical to her that if she had to lose the only man that mattered to her, she needed to gain another one to be forever happy. Arlyn scares us with her simple logic and innocent thoughts. She truly believes that it’s destiny what makes a man stops by her house, hours after her father’s funeral, and ask for directions to a party. And Arlyn truly believes the right thing to do after the man escapes her—scared by the intensity of their bond—is selling everything she has and going after him. Arlyn never imagined that she could end unhappy.
Skylight Confessions is truly a book about destiny. But not about a destiny that is forced upon us, but about the choice we can always make. Arlyn makes a lot of bad choices, and John—the man that she once thought was her future—show us he isn’t the best for her. We pity Arlyn. We wish she would just escape, but in each page we read, we understand she can’t. Arlyn is deep inside her imaginary fairtale, and even when she starts to run after her wishes, it’s understandable that she will never win in the end. And Arlyn is just part one. She give us her son and daughter to do wrong and right by her mistakes. It’s a great responsability.
After this and until the end, we read about family. About how much Arlyn and her bad choices affected the ones she left behind her. We see Sam, her special son, losing himself in his art and mind, showing his pain through his paintings and tales about people that have wings. He does drugs. He is always drunk. But he loves his sister Blanca even if the only contact with love that he ever had was with his lost mother. With Blanca, we learn about undying affection. We learn about care. And that we can change the path our family is following and be different. Be better. It’s not necessary search for our destiny, it will come to us.
The destiny, in the end, will always be there, because there’s only one way for life to end. Doesn’t matter how or when, the end is the same for everyone.