Bloodroot is Amy Greene’s multi-generational tale of life in the Appalachian Mountains. It is also Amy Greene’s debut novel and it is haunting. Like her characters Ms Greene has lived most of her life in the Tennessee mountains and the setting is a main character in this book.
This novel soaked into me. While not reading it I thought about the characters and found myself looking around my own Kentucky hills with a deeper appreciation for their beauty and serenity.
The rural, isolated life of Bloodroot Mountain seems timeless. A place that time doesn’t quite touch where people live simple though not uncomplicated lives. The folk cures, beliefs and faith of the mountain people reminded me of the Cajun folk of Grand Isle where my husband was born and raised. The speech, the way the people live on what nature provides, the generosity of neighbors, the old-fashioned roles of men and women, and the seeming disinterest in school-taught education speak of rural lives all over the world.
The story is told in many voices through several generations. Byrdie is the grandmother who raises the mysterious Myra. Myra who loves Bloodroot Mountain but later realizes how the choices she made took her away from her beloved mountain and grandmother.
Choices is a main theme that runs throughout the story. Choices that don’t only effect the characters but spread out like roots and touch everyone in their life.
This is a haunting novel that contains several colorful characters and their narratives. Byrdie and Macon’s love story, Doug’s unrequited love, Myra and John and the most compelling story Johnny and Laura, the twins.
Bloodroot is about love. Love that can be wonderful and warm or love that can scar and maim. It is about nature versus nurture. Are we destined by our blood to repeat the same mistakes of our parents and grandparents.? Or can we change inside and bloom into something new and different.
Bloodroot is an epic family drama with touches of folk magic sprinkled throughout. These characters will live inside you long after you finish the book. I give this book a 4 1/2 and encourage everyone to read it. Happy Reading!
Hardcover: 304 pages
Author: Amy Greene
Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (January 12, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
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