I own nearly all her books. I think I still have a couple to collect. Like so many authors you end up loving, I found the first one of her books in a secondhand bookstore. It is also my favorite of all her books that I've read so far. I couldn't tell you how many times I've read it. I read it whenever I need a little magic and warmth in my life.
It's called, "The Thread That Binds the Bones."
The blurb on Amazon is rather bare bones itself! All it says is: "Tom Renfield, a drifter possessed of extraordinary powers, and Laura Bolte, the equally gifted daughter of an ancient family, are wed amid a supernatural tumult that threatens the thread that binds the bones."
I guess that's the crux of it, but the book is so much more. It has magic, honour, bravery and love in scads. It looks at issues around trust, tradition and family. The two main characters are very likeable and I really enjoy the warmth of their relationship, oddly begun though it is. Hoffman is fantastic at creating odd characters that you love, and at building magic into what at first seems the ordinary world.
Like all Hoffman's books, there is a lot of wonder and mind stretching and, "Wow, I wish life could be like this!" about it.
Hoffman writes a lot of books that are considered to be for young adults, but I found them long after that age and still love them.
Two of my other particular favorites are:
She has some better known books, but these three are my favorites.
And if you've read all her novels and want more back story for some of her characters, and to meet some more that I hope one day get their own novel, this book of short stories is fantastic, even though I'm usually not a big fan of short stories, as I've said before!
Thanks for all the magic and inspiration, Nina!