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Book Review: "Bloodroot"

Posted Feb 21 2012 8:15pm
I've done a lot of driving recently: to Louisville, then on to Bloomington , then back to Louisville, back to Nashville, back to Louisville again, and finally back to Nashville. All within ten days. I miss the days when I was little and could curl up in the backseat with a book, not noticing as the hours flew by.

Alright you caught me - I couldn't actually read in the backseat, due to my intense problems with carsickness. (I also couldn't eat at Subway, but that's a tale for another day.) Nor was I even really reading - usually I was participating in a casted Les Mis singalong with my father. Damn him for always getting to be Valjean.

If I was able to read in the car, I would want it to be a book like the one I finished at 12:30am last night. That's the mark of a good book, when you stay up way past your bedtime (don't judge) just to see how it ends. Ironic, since I had previously whined to my roommate about how I just couldn't get into my book. Funny how 50 pages can make such a difference...

"Bloodroot" by Amy Greene started off slow, but it certainly picked up the pace once I got into it! It tells the story of four generations of an Appalachian family, jumping back and forth through time and between narrators. At times, this makes the plot somewhat difficult to discern. I wished that I was reading an actual book and not on my Kindle, because I think being able to flip back and read passages again might make it easier to keep track of everyone.

I loved that the book was set in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, and referenced Nashville several times. Even though Kentucky will always be my home, I have a soft spot in my heart now for all things Tennessee. The story centers around Myra Lamb, and the people who love - and need - her. But the story is as much about the people involved as it is about the place they inhabit: Bloodroot Mountain. Character and setting intertwine to paint a devastating picture of a what might have been, and what actually happens. It is at times sad, at times hopeful, at times painful, but always mesmerizing.

"Bloodroot" is a beautiful story about love and loss. Not necessarily a feel-good book, but one that makes you think. And one that makes you thankful for all that you have. Pretty fitting that I read it this month , huh?
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