Monday, March 01, 2010

What We're Reading: Bloodroot

Bloodroot is the debut novel of Amy Greene. It has been a long time since a work of fiction has gripped me this much, and I suspect it will be a long time before it happens again. It's the kind of book you want to savor slowly, but you end up losing track of time as you race to the finish. Magical, hopeful, suspenseful, dark...deep in the forests, high on the mountains, along the railroad tracks...the characters are like satellites orbiting around wild and beautiful Myra Lamb, who has impacted their lives both for good and for ill. It's always devastating to cherish a book so much, because it can be difficult to describe to others. It's more a feeling, a seduction, than something you can form into words.

I once had the privilege of attending a reader's advisory workshop with Nancy Pearl who, as far as I know, is the only actual librarian who has an action figure modeled after her. When finding a book a reader might enjoy, she said that it's best to find out what is most important to them: a fast-paced story, well-written characters, strong sense of place, or beautiful language. Most books have one or two elements. Some special ones have all four, meaning that they really have something for almost anyone to enjoy. To me, Bloodroot is one of these unique novels that has it all.

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