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Book chat: Bloodroot by Amy Greene

***Now that I have a baby, I have more time to read, but not enough time to write reviews. Therefore, I’m changing things up a bit. I’ll use the publisher’s summary, and write a paragraph or two with my thoughts. I’m also changing my rating system to five stars.***

Bloodroot [buy it here]
By Amy Greene [website]
384 pages
Published in hardcover on January 12, 2010 and paperback on January 4, 2011

(Thanks to Galleysmith for the idea of putting the author’s website in brackets next to their name. She’s so smart!)


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.

My thoughts:

I’ve been meaning to read Bloodroot by Amy Greene for quite a while, so was pleased when it was chosen for one of my book clubs. The narrative starts out by the story alternately being told by Myra’s childhood friend, Doug, and her grandmother, Byrdie. After about 100 pages, the narrative shifts to Myra’s children, Johnny and Laura, and finally to Myra herself. I thought the author pulled this off fabulously. The story unfolded in such a way that it was like a picture slowly coming in to focus. I haven’t read a book done quite this well in a long time.

The story is rather dark, and the author, even at the end, even with me secretly hoping things would magically get better, doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of her characters. There’s quite a bit of poverty and ignorance that the characters have to deal with, which broke my heart on at least one occasion. Myra’s daughter, Laura, has her son taken away by CPS because she has a spiteful mother-in-law, but the baby wasn’t being neglected or mistreated. Laura’s inability to make the right decisions or fight back in any way is pitiful and just makes you want to reach out to her and help her.

I should mention that the summary talks about Myra has “the touch”. This is where some summaries aren’t particularly accurate.

The characters are well developed and really come to life. This book won’t be a favorite of the year, but I had a lot of fun reading it and look forward to reading more by Amy Greene.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy Bloodroot.


9 Responses to “Book chat: Bloodroot by Amy Greene”

  1. Sandy ()

    Excellent summary! I like your quick review style. I wish I had the restraint to do that. As I said the other day, I did really enjoy this book and rated it similarly. And for all you audiofiles out there, it is a home run in this format!


  2. bermudaonion (Kathy) ()

    The little bit of discussion I heard about this book totally piqued my interest. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I can read it.


  3. Audra ()

    I like the review format — short and snappy! It’s nice when an author can do multiple POVs well and it’s a favorite style of mine for storytelling. I’m adding this to the TBR — I’ve never heard of Amy Greene!


  4. Kathleen

    Glad you enjoyed the read and that you are managing to find some time to read while you are busy being a mommy!


  5. Amused ()

    This one has been sitting on my shelf for awhile now but I know it would be a book I would like. Must get to it!


  6. zibilee ()

    I have been rather curious about this book since reading Sandy’s review, and yours just pushes me over the edge into “must read”. I love books that have great atmosphere and unusual characters, so this sounds like it would be a great choice for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it with us. I am very glad to see you back!


  7. Jenny

    I need to keep this one in mind. I have this book and have heard great things but keep forgetting about it! The CPS storyline sounds very interesting since I work with people who are often in that or similar situations.


  8. stacybuckeye ()

    You have time to read?! You are doing the mothering thing right then. I am always way behind!


  9. Jennifer ()

    I have to say, I was definitely intrigued by the summary. This sounds like an interesting read.


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