Hoffman’s second book about the magical girl Green is even better than the first. This time around the story is a bit more linear, a bit more action o
Hoffman’s second book about the magical girl Green is even better than the first. This time around the story is a bit more linear, a bit more action oriented and forward-moving. It has a quest feel to it. Green goes in search of “the Enchanted”, a group of women who are called witches for the powers that they possess. Green does not seem to realize or believe that she is one of these witches, as the title of the story suggests.
Much of the same imagery as in Green Angel recurs here, although somehow Hoffman has recast the images by rewriting the symbolism. Whereas Green Angel seems very reflective and oriented towards the past and its repercussions, Green Witch is very future focused and looking towards possiblities. The best part is that Green no longer seems to be waiting. She has grown into a proactive protagonist who goes after what she is searching for, what she wants, her heart’s desire.
As a work of young adult fiction, I would have to say that the Green in this book is a much better role model for teen girls. She does not etch her pain into her skin, but instead reflects how like a garden she has grown up through the destruction that was her life before the tragedy at the beginning of the first book. Perhaps I also like this Green better because she is more realistic in some ways, while she has simultaneously acquired more magical capabilities. I guess that combination makes her more complex and interesting. At heart the Green of this book and the story feels more human because it is very hope based, because hope is one of the two best reasons for living, along with love.
This book is both subtle and blatant, mundane and surprising. Not that I know from personal experience, but from what I saw of my own parents' relatio
This book is both subtle and blatant, mundane and surprising. Not that I know from personal experience, but from what I saw of my own parents' relationship, Erdrich does a superb job of capturing and manifesting the miseries, sufferings, indignities, and surprising, crystalline beautiful moments of joy in love, in marriage, in an enduring relationship and in parenthood.
Irene and Gil have been together more than ten years, perhaps closer to twenty years, but Erdrich tracks an ever-increasing distance between them, a gap that is widened by distrust, disgust, and the ebbing of affection. There is talk of a decisive moment, of a singular, distinctive turning point... there is disagreement as to whether this moment does or does not exist. In the novel, it does not seem to exist, but rather the plot hinges on an ebbing and flowing of emotion, like the ocean's tides on a beach. This wave-like quality of the narrative and plot tug the reader along, back and forth, so that it's hard to imagine what will or will not happen. I can't say that I was satisfied with the novel or with it's ending, but I was impressed with it's verisimilitude, with the simulacra of life, art, love, marriage, family, and Native loss/retention of identity that Erdrich has therein crafted.