I really loved this book. And I think I loved it for a lot of the reasons some people hate it. I honestly think it depends on timing, expectation, andI really loved this book. And I think I loved it for a lot of the reasons some people hate it. I honestly think it depends on timing, expectation, and what you just read before.
Though it started out slow and a bit strange, the plot was very unique. A family living within their own swamp/alligator theme park and completely isolated from the mainland. How someone even dreams up this kind of atmosphere and family amazes me. The first half of the book if not more seems to be character development. Some people will hate this. I personally loved it. I like getting to know the characters in the book. Having read 'Water for Elephants' just before this book, character development was a welcome relief.
While certain pieces of the story were not always consistent, as if the author forgot something she just said on a previous page, the characters were all interesting, especially Ava and Osceola, that most of the time, those forgotten words were easily forgiven. Without spoiling it, let's just say the biggest conflict which comes very late in the book creeps up on you. You have this nagging feeling about it halfway through of what is happening, but then once you realize it for sure, it's pretty tough. The feeling of losing innocence penetrates you deeply with each word. With that said, I felt like this book was really about losing your innocence and discovering painful truths.
I feel like despite the wild themes in this book, most people can relate to the underlying story here of a family struggling to keep 'it' together. Though a lot of people probably want more at the end, like why did that conflict happen? Just who was 'that person'? How does the family really turn out in the end? I personally felt that Karen Russell was bold in giving us the pieces that made us feel without necessarily cramming perfect little resolutions down our throat. A book that makes me see everything and feel everything is what I look for. Not a book that makes me understand everything....more
Have you ever mourned the ending of a book? I have, but it's been a while. That is, until I turned the last page of 'Bloodroot' by Amy Greene. ThoughHave you ever mourned the ending of a book? I have, but it's been a while. That is, until I turned the last page of 'Bloodroot' by Amy Greene. Though 'Bloodroot' is a novel at 291 pages, it feels more like of a Southern Gothic epic. The story unfolds through various voices of people who have been touched by Myra Lamb, the central character whose romance is charted from her early days until her older life, in her last, sad, days. I think some of the beauty in the way this story is told, is that it is told from various perspectives, over generations, from the Great Depression to the present. From a neighbor boy who loves Myra Lamb as a child, to Myra's children. Each voice sheds a little light into the complexity of Myra Lamb. It's as if you are seated at a fireplace, listening to your great-grandmother tell you stories that have been passed down over generations. You feel like you knew Myra, from the time she was a girl, to the time she is married, and so forth. And it is because of the way you feel that you know her, that her conflicts feel so very real to you and you feel as if you are watching this young girl you once knew, die in spirit.
This is not a happy book folks. It is very depressing. However, it is well worth the read. The jacket can be misleading. As it makes you feel that it is more magical in nature, but I feel that any of the 'magic' was truly not central to the story.
I highly recommend this book, if for nothing else, for a spin on how a good story can be told, and unfold, over generations and over time. It's good storytelling at it's very best....more