Monday, August 23, 2010

Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

My first Hoffman. And what a special book this was. I don't know what I expected really from this book, but it wasn't this. I went into this book fairly blind, not knowing very much about the plot. But it spoke to me so much from the opening line:

"I once believed that life was a gift"
How can you not just want to continue reading from there? Hoffman takes us on a journey with a young girl named Green, named so because of her ability to grow anything as is witnessed by her beautiful vegetable gardens. The gardens that she grows are what sustains her family. And it is during a trip to town to sell their vegetables that an explosion occurs destroying the town and everyone in it, leaving Green, who stayed home and orphan. An orphan who is angry at the world, scared and alone. But she quickly transforms herself from a vulnerable, withdrawn little girl into an unapproachable being tattooed with crows and thorns. She doesn't want to be hurt by the world again. But can she ever learn to embrace what beauty is left in the world? This book just roused up every emotion in me that I love in just 128 pages. It was literally a perfect book. There were, without a doubt, moments of complete sadness, but Hoffman replaced them with beauty. Even dark images of beauty as Green reinvents herself by chopping off her hair and inking her body. Building an armor out of the thorns of the earth. There's so little I can talk about with this story with it being so short as far as the plot goes, but this is the sort of book that if it were read with a book club it could be discussed for ages despite it's short length. And perhaps what thrilled me more than anything is learning that there is a sequel to this book available now called Green Witch which was just released this year. I can't wait to read that one. I just can't wait to read more Hoffman. I think my next may be The Ice Queen while I wait for Green Witch to come in stock somewhere. Regardless of what I read, I think I'm a Hoffman fan after this one. I can't imagine being too disappointed by her other stuff if it's even half as good as this one.

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