Saturday, March 26, 2011


Bloodroot by Amy Greene is the author's debut novel.  I had been wanting to read it for some time, and finally got to it.  It was a quick read and at one point, I even checked to see if it was a Young Adult novel.  That seems foolish since the content of the story wouldn't really be appropriate for young readers, but the Ms. Greene's writing style seemed quite simple to me.  I also had a bit of trouble following the story, as it would seem to rather abruptly change perspectives, being told by different people and at times, I could not figure out who the person was telling the story.  She did eventually get around to letting the reader know, but I found it confusing.  However, after saying all of this, I found myself thinking about the story quite awhile after I finished it, which is an indication of a good book for me!  And actually, the story was very good.

From the back cover of the book:

Myra Lamb is a wild girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain.  Her grandmother, Byrdie, protects her fiercely and passes down "the touch" that bewitches people and animals alike.  But when John Odom tries to tame Myra, it sparks a shocking disaster, ripping lives apart.  Bloodroot is the dark and riveting story of the legacies-of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss-that haunt one family across the generations.

That is what initially attracted me to the book.  And it sums it up well.

Chapter One is told alternately by Byrdie Lamb and Doug Cotter.  Byrdie is Myra's grandmother, who has raised her.  Doug is a neighbor on the mountain, who has loved Myra since they were little kids.  Byrdie and Doug are dealing with the fact that Myra has fallen in love with John Odom and both are afraid that he will take Myra away from Bloodroot Mountain.   Chapter Two is then narrated by Johnny Odom and Laura Odom Blevins, the twin children that were born to Myra and John Odom.  Chapter Three is told by Myra Odom, and  the Epilogue is told by John Odom.

For me, Bloodroot was primarily about mother and child relationships.  The story takes place in the mountain country of Tennessee.   Byrdie had lost all of her children, then raised her granddaughter, Myra.  Myra left with John and their relationship quickly became abusive and difficult, which resulted in Myra being lost to Byrdie.  After much abuse, Myra got away from John, then lost her children.  Her children ended up paying a high price for John and Myra's past.

I feel as if I am being very vague about the story, but I don't want to give anything away.  I was impressed with how Ms. Greene ended the book, and as I said, I kept thinking about the story after I finished it, even as I was reading my next book!  Do I recommend the book?  Yes, I highly recommend it.  I think that it would make a good choice for a woman's reading/book group! 

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