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Staff Book Reviews > The Red Garden, by Alice Hoffman

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message 1: by Miranda (new)

Miranda (readerslibrarian) | 37 comments Mod
The Red Garden is a collection of short stories that fit together to tell the tale of a small town in Massachusetts from its founding through the present day.
Blackwell is not your ordinary small town; here, magic and nature form a fantastic backdrop for powerful human stories. In the shadow of Hightop Mountain, great black bears roam the woods. Eel River, cold and muddy, swarms with the black eels that feed many in the town and provide the source for the town's leatherworking industry. Red hair and mercurial natures are common, and shapeshifting, ghosts, murder, betrayal are woven into the town's history. Johnny Appleseed himself planted the original apple tree that bears the delicious "Look-no-further" apple, and Emily Dickinson spends a night replanting a garden in scarlet blooms so that a blind man might see "the flash of scarlet, the trail of blood, the inside story of who she was."
This is my first dip into Alice Hoffman's work, and I am definitely hooked! Her work is vividly descriptive and beautifully poetic. More than that, I finished this book and felt reawakened to the limits of mortality and the importance of keeping focused on what really matters. Life is short, but each person's impact can ripple on through generations.

message 2: by Deb (new)

Deb Southerland | 7 comments Mod
There is always a hint of something magical within
Alice Hoffman's writings. I first became acquainted with her through Turtle Moon. Practical Magic remains one of my favorites, and I love the adaptation to the screen.

message 3: by Miranda (new)

Miranda (readerslibrarian) | 37 comments Mod
Turtle Moon is a lovely title, I'll have to look for that one. I really enjoyed the movie Practical Magic, but did not know until recently that it was based on a book. I definitely want to read it!

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