Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

My first Hoffman. And what a special book this was. I don’t know what I expected really from this book, but it wasn’t this. I went into this book fairly blind, not knowing very much about the plot. But it spoke to me so much from the opening line:

“I once believed that life was a gift”

How can you not just want to continue reading from there? Hoffman takes us on a journey with a young girl named Green, named so because of her ability to grow anything as is witnessed by her beautiful vegetable gardens. The gardens that she grows are what sustains her family. And it is during a trip to town to sell their vegetables that an explosion occurs destroying the town and everyone in it, leaving Green, who stayed home and orphan. An orphan who is angry at the world, scared and alone. But she quickly transforms herself from a vulnerable, withdrawn little girl into an unapproachable being tattooed with crows and thorns. She doesn’t want to be hurt by the world again. But can she ever learn to embrace what beauty is left in the world?

This book just roused up every emotion in me that I love in just 128 pages. It was literally a perfect book. There were, without a doubt, moments of complete sadness, but Hoffman replaced them with beauty. Even dark images of beauty as Green reinvents herself by chopping off her hair and inking her body. Building an armor out of the thorns of the earth. There’s so little I can talk about with this story with it being so short as far as the plot goes, but this is the sort of book that if it were read with a book club it could be discussed for ages despite it’s short length.

And perhaps what thrilled me more than anything is learning that there is a sequel to this book available now called Green Witch which was just released this year. I can’t wait to read that one. I just can’t wait to read more Hoffman. I think my next may be The Ice Queen while I wait for Green Witch to come in stock somewhere. Regardless of what I read, I think I’m a Hoffman fan after this one. I can’t imagine being too disappointed by her other stuff if it’s even half as good as this one.


15 Responses

  1. I loved this book and will be reading the sequel very soon. I think you will love The Ice Queen. She very quickly became one of my favourite authors and I hope to read her whole body of work.

  2. I really need to give Hoffman another try. I read Practical Magic in 1999 and rolled my eyes the whole way through, but it’s been 11 years…

  3. Great blog, great reviews! Adding you to my blog!

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more on this one. This book was just a tiny little package of perfection. Like you said, it just touched so many emotions…and I loved every second of it!

  5. So glad that you read this one. I read it a while back and enjoyed it too!

  6. Rhinoa, I can definitely see her becoming one of my favorite authors too. This book was just incredible. The Ice Queen has been on my list to read forever! I should get to that one sooner rather than later!

    Amanda, You know…I really don’t think that I would like Practical Magic either. Of all of her books, that one looks like the least appealing of them. I can nearly guarantee you that you would love this one though!

    Birdy, Well thank you!

    Debi, Wasn’t it though 🙂 I just loved it!! We really need to track down that sequel!

    Staci, I just thought it was such an incredible little book. I want more!

  7. I’ve long been an Alice Hoffman fan! I just sent her the link to this review. One of my faves is one of her early books, LOCAL GIRLS.

  8. My first Alice Hoffman was the Ice Queen, then Green Angel. I loved them both!!!

  9. Even though it is outside my normal reading area it sounds interesting. 🙂

  10. I read Green Witch earlier this year and fell in love with Hoffman’s writing. It wasn’t the first of her novels I’d read, but it was the one that caught me in a snare and wouldn’t let go. From there I went on to read Incantation and it was lovely and moving; I can’t wait to dip back in to Hoffman’s backlist as a result. Great review!

  11. Anjali, Oh wow! Thanks for doing that 🙂 I so loved this book! Just beautiful. Now I have to hunt down Local Girls. I can see why you’ve been a fan for so long! She’s an amazing writer!

    Kristina, I can’t wait to read The Ice Queen! It sounds really good. I really want to read Green Witch now too.

    Brittanie, Oh I really think you would like this one. It’s a quick read and it’s just gorgeous!

    Chelle, I can’t WAIT to read Green Witch!! If I love it half as much as this one, I know it’ll be good. I haven’t even heard of Incantation…she’s written so much. Which is a totally good thing!

  12. Oh my gosh Chris, the Ice Queen is wonderful, you are going to love it!!! So pleased you have falled for Hoffman too! I have been picking up her backlist from second hand bookshops and am saving them for some rainy days!

  13. Mariel, hooray!! Glad to hear that you enjoyed The Ice Queen so much!! How could I not have fallen for Hoffman after reading this book? So damn good. I just want to read them all now. A rainy day sounds like perfect Hoffman reading time 🙂

  14. I loved Blackbird House (a collection of interconnected stories), but I didn’t like Practical Magic, so I’ve been wondering where to go with Hoffman next. Sounds like now I know! 🙂

  15. hi

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