Book Review - Green Heart by Alice Hoffman

A review of Alice Hoffman's "Green Heart," the compilation of "Green Angel" and "Green Witch."

Author: Alice Hoffman

Synopsis: (from the back cover) Left on her own when her family dies in a terrible disaster, fifteen-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. In order to rediscover the truth about love, hope and magic, she must open herself to them all, even when caring only seems to bring pain.

(Green Heart is actually two books in one - Green Angel and Green Witch. The first came out in 2003 and the second in 2010.)

Due to several appointments that required waiting room time, I managed to read this book in one day and, when I finished, I went back to the beginning, intending to write out in my book journal some of the magical, beautiful words I had read. But, flipping through the pages, I realized that I would need to write out three quarters of the book. As a sample, here are some of the phrases that struck me:

"I dreamed of everything I'd lost and all that I'd found and everything in between."

"What you dream, you can grow."

"What you see, you can understand."

"What you look for, you may find."

"This is how much love weighs . . . Nothing if you don't take it when it's offered. Everything is you accept what's given to you."

I truly loved this book - the notes of magic, the palpable loss, healing and hope are very moving and memorable. Alice Hoffman reminds me a lot of Sarah Addison Allen's books - the same things stand out, like the presence of magic in the every day and the almost dream-like tone of writing. Green Heart took me deep into Green's world; I was transported there and felt her loss, her grief, her guilt and, finally, her healing and her joy.

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