Monday, February 14, 2011

Review - Bloodroot by Amy Greene

Title: Bloodroot (Amazon)
Author: Amy Greene
Publisher: Alfred A, Knopf
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 291

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. (Goodreads)

Kim’s take: This book was really good. It was such an original story and I loved the characters. The book is based on a girl named Myra and is focused on how history often repeats itself. As sweet as Myra seems, it appears that only sorrow follows for those left in her wake. Narration is from a number of different people in her life. The first are the Granny who raised her and the neighbor boy, Doug, who has always been in love with her. Granny tells the story of her own childhood, how she came to Bloodroot Mountain, her marriage and children, and the tragedy that led to her raising her granddaughter. Doug has loved and idolized her since he first saw her when they were children and tells of his undying need to be with her. As time goes by, the narration turns to that of her twins, Laura and Johnny. They tell of their lives with their mother, their feelings for her as she mentally declines, and the effects she has on their future happiness. And, just when I had given up hope, Myra begins to tell her side of the story. And I was rather shocked until the very end at the twists and turns that the story takes when told by Myra with information only she knows. It is such a good story about the simple lives of people trying to manage life on the mountain, caring neighbors, tragedy, and how many lives are unknowingly intertwined. I would definitely recommend!

Kim’s Rating: 4/5


  1. Great review! I have never heard of this book before but it sounds spectacular. It is getting added to my TBR list right now =]

  2. Great review! Hadn't heard of this one before, but it sounds very original! :D