Named for a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison, Bloodroot is a stunning fiction debut about the legacies of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss that haunt one family across the generations, from the Great Depression to today.
The novel is told in a kaleidoscope of seamlessly woven voices and centers around an incendiary romance that consumes everyone in its path: Myra Lamb, a wild young girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain; her grandmother, Byrdie Lamb, who protects Myra fiercely and passes down the touch that bewitches people and animals alike; the neighbor boy who longs for Myra yet is destined never to have her; the twin children Myra is forced to abandon but who never forget their mothers deep love; and John Odom, the man who tries to tame Myra and meets with shocking, violent disaster. Against the backdrop of a beautiful but often unforgiving country, these lives come togetheronly to be torn apart as a dark, riveting mystery unfolds.
With grace and unflinching verisimilitude, Amy Greene brings her native Appalachia and the faith and fury of its people to rich and vivid life. Here is a spellbinding tour de force that announces a dazzlingly fresh, natural-born storyteller in our midst.
Read by a full cast.
©2009 Amy Greene ; (P)2009 Random House
Listening while working on the farm
This book was haunting. The depth of characters was rich.It was wonderfully read my numerous voices. I have been an audible customer for years and this was one of the best.
i have read a lot of classics in my life, this was not one of them. i kept waiting for something to elevate this book. the closest it came are the wonderful descriptions of the landscape. yes, that was great writing. but the endless droning on and on of one tragedy after another, one hopeless word after another got to be too much for me.
the most depressing book i ever read was L Assimoir by Zola. i cried my heart out at the end of it. for some reason i never made any kind of similar connection with these characters. they are not shallow. they simply have no redeeming qualities. from the beginning of the book to the last second i listened, i never smiled once. i never felt i was rooting for them, only watching their deterioration. i never felt any magic except for the color of the eyes of the horse.
i lived in a holler once for about a year and there was such poverty and tragedy there. that is true. but the people i met there were some incredibly funny, feisty, strong fighters. they would tell you their tragedy while preparing poke salad for you to eat and then end the whole thing with strawberries and a laugh.
maybe it is only the audio. but these people sounded like they should have been sitting in a psychologist s office, not hanging about in my ear. i really expected to like this book.
An amazing listen that I didn't want to end, but felt it ended perfectly. Well written and well executed, this is one of those rare books that was seamless as it went through the cast of characters, I felt I knew each one by the end, and I didn't get lost along the way! A huge fan of The Help, Bloodroot is right up there as my all time favorites since joining Audible, and my first review!
English major. Love to read
This is a great first novel. The characters are very strong, the story is truly compelling and the warmth for the culture is obvious. I found myself missing the characters when I wasn't reading. It is, of course, a treat to have multiple readers and they all do a great job. There are some flaws that could have been edited out which is often typical of a first novel, but they just don't matter given the weight of the story and the breadth of the characters. One of my all time favorites.
wonderful book read by this cast was pure entertainment. I hated when it ended. Thanks to all for an amazing experience. I've been doing audible books for years (originally on cassettes!) - this is truly one of the best.
I listened to this book based on its generally favorable reviews, but unfortunately is was a big waste of time. I trudged through the different story lines as they got more and more depressing because I thought the ending would have to connect all the subplots and character actions, but it doesn't. There are no characters that you can really root for or connect with. The only positive of this book were the different narrators. They were very good. Don't waste your time with this book.
Books make the world a better place
I love how the author wrote her characters in dialect and I give a lot of credit to the narrators who absolutely did an excellent job as well. The 'mountain-speak' dialect greatly enhanced my listening experience as it allowed me to hear, see, feel and almost taste the hauntingly bleak and riveting stories of each woman of the four generations of Lamb women in Bloodroot.
I will not hesitate to purchase more of Ms. Greene's books. If it/they are as good as Bloodroot then she has an eternal fan in me.
The narrators are absolutely fabulous. They bring the story to life in such a way that even I felt nostalgic for a place and people I have never seen. I truly would have gotten into a car and driven to Tennessee if I knew I could meet Ms. Greene's characters.
This book has stayed with me. It brought tears to my eyes as well as tender redeeming moments that made me smile. I was hypnotized by the author’s vivid images of the stunning and wildly beautiful mountain-side as well as her descriptions of the poor and rundown lives of Tennessee’s rural backwoods residents. The Lamb women are born into hard lives. Theirs are the voices of unschooled, poverty stricken women who live in squalor, who are accustomed to situations of drug abuse, alcoholism, etc. and who choose men who prove to be less than adequate husbands and fathers.I could not help being drawn to the elements of superstition, magic, spirits, the Lambs’ family curses and their legacy as witches; and the beauty and tragedy of Myra Lamb with her ‘haint blue eyes’. Myra is born with the 'gift''. She can commune with birds, horses and other wild creatures. One day a neighbor finds her asleep in the leaves with a kaleidoscope of butterflies covering her like a blanket. She seems almost ethereal but like any teenage girl, Myra falls. She meets the darkly handsome John Odom and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to win him...even if that means resorting to a love charm she knows is taboo.
This is the best book I have listened to since "The Help". I think both were enhanced by having multiple narrators. In the case of "Bloodroot", employing readers who could embrace the accent of the mountain people helped immeasurably. I loved this book and recommend it to all Audible readers.
Great readers... couldn't wait to get back to the book stayed up way too late to finish
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