karen's Reviews > Bloodroot

Bloodroot by Amy Greene
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May 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: free-from-work
Read from May 11 to 13, 2011

this was recommended to me in the RA group when i was whining about wanting more books like winter's bone and dogs of god and gritty appalachia stuff like that.

this is not as dark as either of those books, the stakes of survival are lower, but it is still a book i would recommend. as a readalike, it seems closer to Garden Spells, which i have not read, but have been assured is a contemporary magical realism masterpiece. there are definitely things that happen to characters in this novel that i do not wish to happen to me, but this is more like dark women's fiction than the soul-crushing despair of the stuff i have been craving.

but again - i liked it - this will not be a negative review!!

i particularly liked the structure of it; each section is narrated by one or two different characters whose stories, when pieced together, reveal all the secrets of several inhabitants of the lonely mountains of tennessee, most of which revolve around one girl, myra lamb. the story weaves through four generations of magic and violence and madness, and provides plenty of atmospheric detail of the land and the people's relationship to the land.

some of the reviews on here complain that it is confusing. i don't know what to say to that. it's not really confusing at all. i shrug the same way i shrugged when oprah chose one hundred years of solitude for her book club. oprah - you are just gonna frustrate some people with that one. they have the same naaaames but they are different characters! it is not a mass-appeal book. it would be, if more people read more and were comfortable with the nonlinear and the trickery. but you can't go from recommending alice hoffman and bret lot and then go right into the marquez without pause. you are bound to lose a few along the way.

there is some great storytelling in this book, some lovely incidents that are all pretty much tinged with sadness. i look forward to whatever her follow-up will be and maybe it will be more desperate and more heartbreaking, the way it needs to be for cold coldhearted me.
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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by Krok Zero (new)

Krok Zero Did you see Mike Reynolds' review of The Devil All the Time...sounds like it will serve your gritty-appalachia/despair needs.


karen yes! i saw that he had read it, but i had just gotten an ARC myself, and i didn't want to know anything about it. but i'm sure it was a good review and i will read it after i read the book. or maybe i won't wait after all - i forget things, so it should be fine.


message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason You will like Devil. I don't think that review had any spoilers, but I'd wait 'til after reading, too. I enjoyed my complete lack of preconceptions/expectations while rushing through it.


karen i was so psyched to see it - we rarely get ARCs i want here. although the above review was written from an ARC i got here, so i guess i am a liar.


message 5: by j (last edited May 27, 2011 07:49AM) (new)

j yay, i recommended this so i am glad you liked it, even though no kittens were brutally murdered or whatever.


message 6: by Bill (new)

Bill hey karen, another great review, as always. you're getting way ahead of me in the goodreads challenge too! i just got the white devil out of the library. seeing as you didn't really like it that much, i didn't want to buy it.


karen good decision. i await your review.


Debbie Bowlin loved this book


Mary Have you read William Gay's Twilight? Less in the Woodrell and Pollack mode, more in the early Cormac McCarthy vein--much like his Child of God or Outer Dark.


karen no, but someone recommended him to me in my group - it is definitely something i have to check out - thank you!


message 11: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny Wren Winter's Bone! I could not for the life of me remember the name of that book and it was killing me. Thank you for saving my life.


karen i save lives!


message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael Winter´s Bone, by the way, is also a great indie movie!


karen yup - one of the few films as good as the book


Kmalbie I am new to this group, but I am listening to Nightwoods by Frazier and highly recommend it, especially the audio version.


karen argh - i still have to read that!!


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