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The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

The Red Garden (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Alice Hoffman

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7775811,868 (3.72)67
Title:The Red Garden
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Broadway (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 304 pages
Tags:Massachusetts, Magical Realism, Folklore, Small Town, Short Stories, Read 2012

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The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman (2011)




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English (57)  Finnish (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
This is a beautifully written book of interconnecting short stories. The first one "The Bear's House" was just about as perfect as a story can be. I was also captivated by the one about the 10 year old and her mother who escape to the town, the one about the faithful dog and the one about the woman who drops out of Radcliffe and finds dinosaur bones in the garden. These are people you'd want to know. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Nov 21, 2014 |
A quick, easy read that is more like a collection of related short stories. The writing is lovely, but lacked the thought provoking feel of some of her other writing. Still worth the read. ( )
  klarsenmd | Nov 14, 2014 |
Interesting concept -- one town, 300 years. Each chapter is a short story about the town and a family member of one of the four founding families. The challenge with the book is attempting to keep track of the characters, and how they're connected. (I actually had to make a chart - and even that didn't help much.) Some stories were interesting character studies, others just seemed out of place, and did little to add to the overall journey.

In my opinion, the last story was one too many -- the book felt "finished" with the second to last chapter. But all in all, something worth keeping on the bedside table for those nights when you can't sleep, or need a "curl up and read" on a rainy day book.
  Rigfield | Sep 27, 2014 |
Words just seem to flow from Alice Hoffman, drawing characters in spare delicate prose, at the same time telling the brutal truth. She is a poet, a story teller, and a truth teller. ( )
  sdunford | Jun 27, 2014 |
I enjoyed this. The short story format made for an easy read without too much to follow. And I like that each story was a new generation of town residents with ties to all the stories that preceded. There were also very clear central themes that trailed along through each person's life. ( )
  AAM_mommy | Jun 2, 2014 |
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In memory of Albert J. Guerard, the great critic, writer, and teacher, who in his fifty years at Harvard and Stanford universities changed the voice of American fiction and also changed my life
First words
The town of Blackwell, Massachusetts, changed its name in 1786.
He felt...as if the cells of his body had expanded to include fir trees, foxes, streams of green water. (p. 222)
Anyone else might have guessed the garden she planted would be white, but Charles had seen it all exactly as she'd crafted it before he went away, the flash of scarlet, the trail of blood, the inside story of who she was. (p.66)
"I intend to remind her that she's alive." (p.38)
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Book description
The Red Garden introduces us to the luminous and haunting world of Blackwell, Massachusetts, capturing the unexpected turns in its history and in our own lives.
In exquisite prose, Hoffman offers a transforming glimpse of small-town America, presenting us with some three hundred years of passion, dark secrets, loyalty, and redemption in a web of tales where characters' lives are intertwined by fate and by their own actions.
From the town's founder, a brave young woman from England who has no fear of blizzards or bears, to the young man who runs away to New York City with only his dog for company, the characters in The Red Garden are extraordinary and vivid: a young wounded Civil War soldier who is saved by a passionate neighbor, a woman who meets a fiercely human historical character, a poet who falls in love with a blind man, a mysterious traveler who comes to town in the year when summer never arrives.
At the center of everyone’s life is a mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look.
Beautifully crafted, shimmering with magic, The Red Garden is as unforgettable as it is moving.
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A young wounded civil war solider is saved by a passionate neighbor, a woman meets a fiercely human historical character, a poet falls in love with a blind man, and a mysterious traveler comes to town in the year when summer never arrives. At the center of everyone's life is a mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look.… (more)

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