Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Title: Bloodroot Author: Amy Greene Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Pages: 291 Copyright: 2010

From Amazon:
Named for a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison, Bloodroot is a stunning fiction debut about the legacies—of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss—that haunt one family across the generations, from the Great Depression to today.

The novel is told in a kaleidoscope of seamlessly woven voices and centers around an incendiary romance that consumes everyone in its path: Myra Lamb, a wild young girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain; her grandmother Byrdie Lamb, who protects Myra fiercely and passes down “the touch” that bewitches people and animals alike; the neighbor boy who longs for Myra yet is destined never to have her; the twin children Myra is forced to abandon but who never forget their mother’s deep love; and John Odom, the man who tries to tame Myra and meets with shocking, violent disaster. Against the backdrop of a beautiful but often unforgiving country, these lives come together—only to be torn apart—as a dark, riveting mystery unfolds.

With grace and unflinching verisimilitude, Amy Greene brings her native Appalachia—and the faith and fury of its people—to rich and vivid life. Here is a spellbinding tour de force that announces a dazzlingly fresh, natural-born storyteller in our midst.

The first time I picked this book up, I put it back down. It just didn't appeal to me at first. Later, I picked it up and tried again. I liked it, but not as well as some other Appalachian novels. This is a tough, gritty, no-holds-barred novel. You can't have a weak stomach with this one. It is what it is. I'd have liked it better if it had played more upon the supernatural qualities brought forth in the beginning, but that's just my personal preference. There is a great deal of sadness and abuse here. I realize this can mimic real life in some cases. It's just a grittier story than I normally care for. Still, it was ok. Will I read her next one? Yes, probably. Will this be on my favorites list? No, but I didn't hate it either.

Read this book if...
*you love novels set in Appalachia
*you love southern fiction

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