Left on her own when her family dies in a terrible disaster, fifteen-year-old Green is haunted by loss and by the past. Struggling to survive physically and emotionally in a place where nothing seems to grow and ashes are everywhere, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy ...
Left on her own when her family dies in a terrible disaster, fifteen-year-old Green is haunted by loss and by the past. Struggling to survive physically and emotionally in a place where nothing seems to grow and ashes are everywhere, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy herself, erasing the girl she'd once been as she inks darkness into her skin. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters that Green can relearn the lessons of love and begin to heal enough to tell her story.
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I read this book in my teens and it still has an impact on me. Its haunting and refreshing at the same time. A must read. I fell in love with Green, and admired her strength, at times the book became too dark but her will to survive is what kept me going till the end. I hope more people come to love this book as much as I do.
Dec 14, 2009
Depressing, but intruiging!
Yes, this book is quite depressing and it does have a dark theme, but it is so interesting! I almost didn't want to continue reading it, but I did because I was too interested in what would happen to the character. I recommend this book, but I would just like to warn you that it is a bit dark. This is the most different book I have ever read. One of the best though!
Publishers Weekly, 2003-01-06 In lean, hypnotic prose, Hoffman (Indigo) constructs a post-apocalyptic fairy tale leavened with hope. "I was a moody, dark weed," confides Green, a shy 15-year-old with a talent for gardening who narrates the novel. Angry at being left behind one day when her parents and younger sister go to the city to sell the family's produce, Green has "too much pride to say good-bye." She comes to regret her decision when a cataclysmic fire destroys the city-and her family. In an all-too-frighteningly familiar scene, Hoffman describes bystanders who "could see people jumping from the buildings, like silver birds, like bright diamonds." Green walls herself off from emotion. She renames herself Ash, crafts a sort of armor from her father's old leather jacket and nail-studded boots, sews thorns onto her clothes and tattoos her body. "Blood and ink. Darkness where before there had been patience, black where there'd once been green." But she begins to heal all the same: she leaves food for a desperate classmate for whom she had once felt only envy, and takes in a stray dog, a wounded hawk and a mysterious boy her age who keeps his face covered and does not speak. The author builds the narrative like a poem, meticulously choosing metaphors that reverberate throughout the novel. The "diamonds," the lives lost, become reborn in the person of the mute boy whom Green calls Diamond; sparrows knit Green a fishing net from her own hair, with which to catch supper when her food runs out. The birth of spring coincides with the rebuilding of the city-and Green's reawakening ("I could feel something green growing inside me. Green as summer in my bones"). In lesser hands, the layers of dense, lush description-apple trees "as fruitless as fence posts"; "mourning doves the color of tears"-might have overwhelmed the dreamy, first-person narrative. But Hoffman creates a careful balance, crafting an achingly lovely backdrop to the transfiguration of a compelling character whose very self becomes a metaphor for renewal. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2004-06-21 A shy 15-year-old girl is left behind one day when her family goes into the city and perishes in a cataclysmic fire. In a boxed review, PW described the novel as "a post-apocalyptic fairy tale leavened with hope." Ages 11-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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