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By Amy Greene

Alfred A Knopf, January 2010 ($24.95)
ISBN-10: 0307269868
ISBN-13: 978-0-307-26986-7

Reviewed by Susan Johnson

The wonderfully dark and haunting premier book of Amy Greene is named BLOODROOT. Bloodroot is a beautiful plant grown in hidden places that’s sap runs red like blood and has the power to heal or poison much like the women whose story Ms. Green tells.

Bloodroot is a mountain set deep in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee. Its story is told by the men and women who had lived there for 4 generations from the Great Depression until present day time.

The main character is Myra Lamb, a beautiful young girl who entrances many and runs wild on the mountain, raised by a Granny that loves her beyond all else.

As the story progresses Myra falls in love with a young man in town and goes away from the mountain to marry but soon finds she has married into a cruel and abusive family.        

Myra returns to the mountain with many secrets including twin children, Johnny and Laura that she tries to hide and shelter from the world. But Myra’s time away from the mountain has done its damage and the children are put at great risk by a mother who is no longer completely sane.

BLOODROOT is an enthralling novel that carries many emotions from passion to madness to poverty and great mystery. As a southern woman from near the Tennessee area where this was set I can picture both the setting and the people who inhabit this novel. Amazing first book and I look forward to so many more.    

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