Green Angel, by Alice Hoffman
ABOUT THE BOOK - When her family is lost in a terrible disaster, 15-yr-old Green is haunted by loss and by the past. Struggling to survive physically and emotionally 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, erasing the girl she'd once been as she inks ravens into her skin. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters -- with a ghostly white dog and a mute boy -- that Green relearns the lessons of love and begins to heal as she tells her own story.
MY REVIEW - Remember I said I was going to save a five star rating for truly amazing books?
Well this is nothing short of a truly AMAZING book! I absolutely loved it and can't wait to read "Green Witch" the sequel.
This book got real mixed reviews. In my opinion, the people who gave it a low rating just didn't "get it". There are books that are read purely for entertainment and those that have a deeper meaning. This is one of those books. Every single paragraph in this book is dripping with meaning. You don't have to read between the lines, you read into the lines. This book is "Magical Realism" it is not meant to be real! So you have to read it with an open mind, knowing that this would not happen in real life, or would it?
There are so many lines in this book that just grabbed me. One of them being - "I wanted silence, peace, blue skies, yesterday." When we are struck by tragedy, a death in the family, a fire, even a break-up, what do we wish for most? For it to have never have happened. We wish to go back in time. We wish for... yesterday.
At the end of the book She says - "Every page white like a garden, in which anything might grow." again, what a beautiful line. Writing words on paper, forming a story is a lot like planting seeds in a garden. Words are seeds for our mind and how they grow is up to you, how you nurture, cultivate and harvest them.A garden is what you make of it, and a story is how you feel it, how you interpret it, and what you take away.
This book is all about giving and receiving. Its more than just pay back, or paying a debt. It is just simply returning the favor, taking care of others that took care of you, maybe even a little of "Do unto others..." Heather hushed the others and told them to leave Green alone, in return Green left food and clothes for her. Green saved a couple baby birds, they in turn knitted a fishing net of her own hair. She nursed a dogs burned feet back to health, he in return shook the trees till all the chestnuts fell for her to gather. He also led her to her neighbor's house so she could find out it was the neighbor who threw the stones saving her from the looters. In return Green took her food. Green took in a boy who lost his mother, she shared her home and all her food with him. In return he cooked and re-started the burned garden.
This book is about Re-birth and renewal. After a forest fire the forest renews itself. New shoots of green plants start growing. After a loved one dies, after all the sadness, you go through a re-birth, acceptance and living your life again. A town goes through a re-birth after a disaster (tornado, flood etc.) when they start rebuilding. This happens in so many ways in the book. Even Green herself goes through a huge re-birth, not only her appearance, her name, the house and garden, but also her spirit! Her soul and her heart is renewed.
There is so much more to this book than just an amusing story. Allow yourself to dig deeper, allow yourself to feel, allow yourself into Green's world, only then will you truly "Get it".