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The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

The Red Garden (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Alice Hoffman

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1,0807412,464 (3.73)91
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)
Title:The Red Garden
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Broadway (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman (2011)



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Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
I found the novel started with strong characters and interesting storyline of the historical origins of a town in Blackwell, MA. Somewhere in the middle I found it difficult to move through the several stories of the ancestors of the original characters. I'm sure it was just me but I found the introduction of the characters confusing at times. Most likely due to the audio version I had read. Ultimately, the book's title is revealed and how it ties together the ancestry of that town. ( )
  marquis784 | Feb 15, 2020 |
I will admit it is hard to describe this book with words, it takes more than words because this book is a feeling.
The way that the town's history is given to us through little snapshots, and small moments is what gives it's feel of reading a diary or a history. Seeing and hearing how these families intertwined and grew from 1750 to present day, was beyond wonderful, it felt like a real history with only the slightest touch of magic, but an attainable magic if that makes sense.
Watching places have their names shortened or slightly changed and to have once factual events slowly turn to fables and folklore made this book come alive, dashed with true historic events.

Honestly, writing this review is hard, I think if you are a fan of Historical Fiction and Atmospheric books this is definitely a read for you.

Pin Board: https://pin.it/tqpgw7upe26jvs ( )
  basilsbooks | Oct 1, 2019 |
This book really frustrated me. It's a collection of short stories telling the history of a town, and I really enjoyed some of the stories and characters. But, there was no closure on any of the possible story lines. I think I missed the full plot line. ( )
  Awill424 | Jun 9, 2019 |
A history of a small town in Massachusetts and the variety of interesting characters who inhabit it through the ages. It read almost like a series of short stories in that each characters' story was told mostly separate from the others. Really enjoyed this, and it made for a very quick read. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Well, evidently, not only have I read this book but this is the second time I've listened to it on audio! And, it's still good. If a book is written by Alice Hoffman, you might as well get it and read it and then listen to it multiple times! I just love all her books. This one is a collection of interrelated short stories about the town of Blackwell, Massachusetts from the founding of the town by early settlers who almost perished to the more recent times of the 90's. As with most of her books, there is a mystical aspect to these stories which includes bears, eels and the red garden, itself. Loved it again! ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Feb 17, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
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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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