Dreaming of Rain: Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites

When I was in my early 20’s, I went through a phase of ‘not reading’.

I know; it was a bad time. What I like to now refer to as the ‘dark ages’. It was a busy time in my life; there was the frantic pace of uni readings to keep up with, then a move interstate as well as the usual work/social/romantic problems that afflict most 20-somethings. But I’m sure there was still, certainly during all that craziness, ‘down time’. And looking back, I can’t even remember how I filled it. Certainly not with books.

‘We could not light lanterns, for turtles follow the moon, and in the eyes of such creatures the moon is any globe of light, even one you hold in your hand.’
-Alice Hoffman, The Marriage of Opposites

Things continued in this way for a little while. I would read intermittently but I never read one book after another. I was not what I would describe a ‘voracious’ reader.

And then when I was 27, I had my first child, a little boy called Lachlan. It changed my life in more ways than one. Apart from the severe shock of lack of sleep and all the other craziness that goes along with new motherhood, I found myself with some spare time (haha) since I was no longer working. My mind began to crave stimulation; I missed conversations and ideas and learning about new things from my friends.

So I began to read.

I started with Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic.
And I did not stop.

Now I read up to four books a month. It probably helps that I work at a library; there’s always something new and fabulous to pick up! But it was Alice Hoffman who inspired by reading renaissance and as such I have a special place for her books in my heart.

I just finished reading her latest book The Marriage of Opposites. A historical fiction set on the island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean, it’s a gorgeous, densely layered novel that I devoured over a few nights. It’s a sensory triumph, a beautiful recitation of love and art and redemption. A truly intoxicating tale that tells the story of Camille Pissaro’s extraordinary mother Rachel, a Jewish woman raised on St. Thomas where fairy tales merge with the every day and spirits remain behind to watch over their loved ones.

I loved this book with all my heart! It recaptured that magic of reading that I missed through my early 20’s. I loved the novel so much I was inspired to make these turtle cookies. Turtles play an important role in The Marriage of Opposites, as does the rain which appears in Rachel’s dreams, connecting her to her desire to travel to Paris where she eventually travels to be reunited with her son.

I hope that you find some time for reading a beautiful book this week and if you love historical fiction I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

Would you like to make your own turtle cookies? I can show you how!

Haint Blue Turtle Cookies

You will need:
Turtle cookie cutter
Vanilla Sugar cookie dough
20-second and firm icing Icing tinted Americolour Teal, Americolour Royal Blue and Americolour Supar Black
Tips 3 and 1.5

Step 1. Outline the shell of your turtle using the teal 20 second icing and flood, using a toothpick to spread the icing to the corners.

Step 2. Quickly draw straight lines across the wet icing then drag a toothpick to drag down through the icing to achieve a ‘ripple’ effect.

Step 3. Outline and flood the ‘fins’ of the turtle and the head. Leave to dry.

Step 4. Using a 1.5 tip filled with firm black icing, make two dots for the eyes. Then use a 1.5 tip filled with teal icing to decorate the fins and head.

Step 5. (optional) Use a paintbrush dipped in water mixed with meringue powder to draw designs over your dry cookies, then sprinkle edible glitter over the top.

Voila! Your turtle cookies are the perfect treat to read with Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites.

1 Comment on Dreaming of Rain: Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites

  1. Sarah
    January 27, 2016 at 6:14 pm (2 years ago)

    Looks like yum!!!


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