Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

13 / 30 books. 43% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (5)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware (1)
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (2)
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (5)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania (2)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (2)
- Canada (2)
- England (10)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

35 / 51 states. 69% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

29 / 50 books. 58% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

50 / 52 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

16 / 40 books. 40% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

11 / 25 books. 44% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

17 / 26.2 miles (2nd lap). 65% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

30 / 100 books. 30% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

74 / 104 books. 71% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

50 / 52 books. 96% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

84 / 165 books. 51% done!
Friday, February 22, 2008

Green Angel So Lyrical It's Practically Poetry

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Some stories are so lyrical they're practically poetry; Green Angel by Alice Hoffman is one of these. In fact, the book is more allegory than story, but it is so suffused with symbolism and fine, sensuous detail that it reads almost like a poem.
The book follows Green, a shy 15-year-old who lives in the country with her parents and her sister Aurora who is so luminous that "white moths hovered above her, more drawn to her than they were to the moon or to the lantern my father kept on the porch" (7). Her parents each have their own talents, and Green is content to be "the least among them, nothing special, just a girl" (6). Despite her self-effacing nature, she actually has uncanny, almost magic, talents in the garden, which is how she earned her name.

One fateful day, Green's family travels to the city to sell their vegetables, leaving her home to tend the gardens. She is wandering in the hills when she feels the air change. Something terrible is happening in the city. Even from a distance, Green "could feel the whoosh of the fire all these miles away, across the river, past the woods. I could hear it as if it were happening inside my own head" (15). When her parents and sister don't return from the city, Green's grief mounts. Alone, she turns her pain inward, trying desperately to forget the great fire that destroyed her family, her home and all her hopes for the future. She "wanted to be as hard and brittle as the stones I carted into the woods, stones that could not feel or cry or see" (28), so she chops off her hair, tattooes her skin with black roses and ravens, sews thorns into her clothes and shrouds herself in her father's heavy coat and boots until she is "protected from feeling anything at all" (30). She renames herself "Ash" and lets her former identity burn away, like everything else in her world.

Her tough exterior works until Green realizes she's defaced herself beyond recognition - even her sister, who visits her nightly in her dreams, no longer recognizes her. It is only when Green cleans a neighbor's home, shares her bread with other orphans and spreads salve on scorched wings and beaks that she finally begins coming back to herself. The despair that gave birth to Ash threatens to melt her soul, but tiny buds of hope are springing up in her ruined life. Can she shake off the ashes of her grief and find rebirth in the sunshine where she is, as always, Green?

I know the story sounds a little odd, and it is, but it's also a beautiful little tale about loss, despair and ultimately, hope. It's a YA novel, so it's a quick read. Don't let its brevity fool you; Green Angel has so many delicate layers that you'll be carefully peeling them apart long after you've closed the book.

Grade: A


  1. What a striking cover...that alone would get me to pick this one up in a bookstore to see what it's all about. Thanks for the review.

  2. This sounds like a wonderful story. The quotes that you put in your review sound so poetic and beautiful. I may have to check this one out! Great review!
    Also, I love your site!!


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Homecoming by Kate Morton


The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive