by Alice Hoffman
Suggested Ages: 12+
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Description: A two-fold tale of grief and hope, loss and love, told as only Alice Hoffman can.When her family is lost in a terrible disaster, 15-year-old Green is haunted by loss and the past. Struggling to survive in a place where nothing seems to grow and ashes are everywhere, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy herself. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters that Green relearns the lessons of love and begins to heal as she tells her own story.As she heals, Green lives every day with feelings of loss. Her family is gone, the boy she loves is missing, and the world she once knew has been transformed by tragedy. In order to rediscover the truth about love, hope, and magic, she must venture away from her home, collecting the stories of a group of women who have been branded witches for their mysterious powers. Only through their stories will Green find her own heart's desire
The Good Stuff
- The writing is absolutely beautiful and lyrical as with most of Hoffman's works
- Descriptions of grief are so honest and realistic
- Fabulous character development especially for Green
- A nice message of hope and being able to make it through the grief of losing so much
- Hauntingly beautiful
- Unique take on the whole dystopian / post apocolyptic (people please simply explain the difference to me) genre - honestly I was imagining a 9/11 sort of devestation had happened
- Thinly veiled disgust for those that commit devestating acts of terrorism in the name of religion
- So many beautifully written life lessons weaved throughout the two stories
- Has a sort of dreamy fairy tale feel to it
- Second story was a little uneven in terms of style - it didn't mesh as well with the first story
- A wee bit repetitive for my pace (but I find that with Hoffman -- still love her work though)
- Still not sure what the disaster was as it is very vague
"There were good people in town who were helping out their neighbors and others who saw an opportunity for greed. Some people were busy cleaning the ashes out of the schoolhouse, while others were selling overpriced lanterns and oil and counting their profits."
"If it were nothing more than mist I could neither touch nor hold, formed into the shapes of those I loved, so be it. As long as I could see my sister, my mother, my father, I would pay any price. Accept any answer."
"But my sister, Aurora, was there in the city that day, selling vegetables from our truck, and I know she hadn't sinned. She was a globe of light, a white dove. Heaven would have never burned her alive."
"We hear the Horde speaking in a language we don't understand, just as we never understood how they could be so certain that heaven is on their side, that they alone have the right to chart what is a sin. For them, the past is the only marker. The future is nothing but dangerous territory. The death of innocent people is a price they're willing to pay in order to build their vision of heaven on earth.
There is no language that can give a reasonable voice to that."
Who Should/Shouldn't Read
- Not for those who need a fast paced violent story
- I would recommend for the more sophisticated YA reader as it is very introspective and thoughtful
- Anyone who has suffered the tragedy of losing someone especially to a violent act will understand the story - The stories have a 9/11 feeling to them
I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review