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Bloodroot
Greene, Amy
Adult Fiction GREENE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Despite a few vivid moments, this uneven debut, a four-generation Appalachian family epic, loses sight of the intriguing mythology it lays out early on. Though Byrdie Lamb inherited the mystical powers of the "granny women" of her grandmother's mountain village, she's failed to protect her family: daughter Clio runs away from Bloodroot Mountain at 17 to get married and is later killed, along with her husband, in a car accident, leaving their daughter, Myra, in Byrdie's care. And though Byrdie tries to raise Myra right, Myra falls under the spell of an abusive alcoholic. Her children, twins Laura and Johnny, grow up largely in fear, and eventually social workers remove them from their home. As adults, they return for different reasons: she for comfort, he for revenge. Narrated by several members of the Lamb-Odom clan, the narrative initially swirls around the mystery of Byrdie's powers, but as the story plays out, her gift (or, perhaps, curse) is unfortunately backgrounded by the violence of those who marry into the family and sow ruin. Greene has a sharp eye for combustible moments and a fine ear for dialect, but the follow-through doesn't do justice to the setup. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A family saga grounded in Appalachia, Greene's debut follows the story of the Lamb women-Byrdie, Clio, Myra, and Laura-from the Depression to the present day. Poverty, folk culture, and the often harsh conditions of Appalachian life color the loves, hatreds, and losses of the Lamb family; for these women, circumstances beyond their control-and some poor decisions of their own-lead to one unhappy ending after another. Though Greene has a flair for physical description, indistinct characters and frequent shifts in point of view throughout the novel lead to confusion, lessening the impact of the story's dramatic potential. Predictable plotlines detract from the enjoyment as well. Verdict Fans of Appalachian culture and/or family chronicles may find something to take pleasure in here; casual popular fiction readers should likely pass. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/09; 50,000-copy first printing.]-Leigh Wright, Bridgewater, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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