Bloodroot by Amy Greene

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Named for a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison, Bloodroot is a stunning fiction debut about the legacies—of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss—that haunt one family across the generations, from the Great Depression to today.

The novel is told in a kaleidoscope of seamlessly woven voices and centers around an incendiary romance that consumes everyone in its path: Myra Lamb, a wild young girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain; her grandmother Byrdie Lamb, who protects Myra fiercely and passes down “the touch” that bewitches people and animals alike; the neighbor boy who longs for Myra yet is destined never to have her; the twin children Myra is forced to abandon but who never forget their mother’s deep love; and John Odom, the man who tries to tame Myra and meets with shocking, violent disaster. Against the backdrop of a beautiful but often unforgiving country, these lives come together—only to be torn apart—as a dark, riveting mystery unfolds.

With grace and unflinching verisimilitude, Amy Greene brings her native Appalachia—and the faith and fury of its people—to rich and vivid life. Here is a spellbinding tour de force that announces a dazzlingly fresh, natural-born storyteller in our midst.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Amy Greene

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Amy Greene was born and raised in the foothills of East Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, where she lives with her husband and two children.
Published December 9, 2009 by Vintage. 306 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Myra’s grandmother is especially devoted to her because all of Birdie’s children died young, including Myra’s mother Clio, whose car was hit by a train while she was out hell-raising with Myra’s dad.

Nov 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot

The New York Times

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An Appalachian tale of the fraught bonds of motherhood, and of violence passed from one generation to the next.

Feb 14 2010 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot


Characters that are held close enough for the reader to care about but far enough away to maintain an alluring aura of mystery, a setting of such lucidity one could picture it without eyes closed, and a story so keen that the reader is in danger of confusing it with his own: these are just some o...

Feb 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot

New York Journal of Books

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Regardless of how Myra or these stories reach their end, one finds a final thread, an inescapable pull of people with common blood “moving in their veins and passing through their hearts.” Watching this new rising star author to see where her bloodroot takes her next should be interesting.

Jan 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot

AV Club

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Amy Greene’s Bloodroot seems almost destined to become one of those warm, wise novels that turns into a word-of-mouth sensation that moms try to push on their adult kids at Christmas.

Jan 21 2010 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot

Entertainment Weekly

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Jan 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot

Gather Books

Bloodroot by Amy GreeneKnopf, 2010 291 pages $24.95 ISBN 978-0-307-26986-7 Amy Greene is a name you have not yet heard, due to the fact that this is her debut novel.

May 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

For the first several years of their lives, Myra raises them alone on Bloodroot Mountain after having escaped from Johnny.

Jan 21 2010 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot

Project MUSE

Narrated by Byrdie Lamb and Douglas Cotter (Myra's grandmother and childhood friend, respectively) this first third of the novel introduces the Lamb genealogy, the wild and mysterious mountain the family calls home, Myra's early life in the wilderness, and her eventual flight from Bloodroot Mount...

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Star News Online

Instead, her story is told, in the first person, by her grandmother Byrdie and by Doug Cotter, the neighbor boy with the cracked and rotted tooth, who's smitten hopelessly by Myra but can't make her love him.Later, the story's taken up by Myra's twin children, Johnny (who inherits both his...

Jan 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot

Sycamore Reviews

Midway through the book all the characters introduced in the early part began to intertwine and I really enjoyed the story and finished it quickly.

Oct 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Bloodroot

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