Bloodroot - Amy Greene ETA: There is another theme central to this book – love. Love has violence imbedded in it. Love tears us apart. Each chapter is told from one character’s viewpoint. I gave this book three stars, yet it continues to occupy my thoughts.

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I enjoyed this book for its ability to put me in in a place where I had never been before. It drew a picture of the South (Tennessee) during the 70s in a remote country town and in mountain-side communities. Superstition, belief in spirits and “mystical visions” were common place. I was drawn into the lives of people that are certainly foreign to my way of living and comprehension. I felt I was in another world. This world seemed, although very foreign to me, real. I was there and able to think as these people thought.

What themes were focused upon? The first is a belief in magic and visions. I was tantalized. I tend to be very logical, and yet I was drawn to the possibility that sometimes strange things do happen. Is it correct to judge them nonsensical simply because we do not understand them? I am willing to believe that perhaps there is a dimension we today cannot fully comprehend. The book goes one step further. When are those who see visions actually crazy? When should they be put away in asylums? Of course if they hurt others that is a valid point supporting incarceration. When is it better for society to let them remain free and add to general group diversity? Such philosophical thoughts arise when reading this book.

Another theme is that of how important it is to each of us to make an imprint after we die? Are their familial characteristics that we want to preserve, to remain after one individual dies? Is it important that these characteristics be carried on to further generations? I must admit, that sometimes when a grandchild does something that is typical of one’s own behavior, you do crack a smile! So if I state that continuation is not important to me, is that true? Am I kidding myself?

So, I did enjoy being submerged in the “southern atmosphere”. I enjoyed the philosophical meanderings. BUT beware; the behavior of the characters was certainly extreme. Don’t think you will be served a typical southern family. Reading this book was for me a visit to a place “foreign” to my everyday life. It widened my perspectives on others’ lifestyles. The question is: should it? Are these characters too bizarre to draw any general conclusions? How many people chop off fingers? How many of us would really then save that finger in a box? There is rape and emotional abuse abundant in this book. Was it excessive? I wonder what the author was trying to say by including so much abuse and exaggeration. When you are reading you are drawn along with the events, but later one reflects – hey, aren’t those circumstances rather exaggerated?! Was this just a fun story? Should any real conclusions be drawn at all?

But then maybe I have found an answer to my question. Look at the title and see what I have added at the start of this review.