Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman [Review]

4 out of 5 Robots!
The Red Garden By Alice Hoffman
Genre: Fiction
Release: January 25, 2011
Hardcover: 270 Pages
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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 action. 

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.

Shannon's Thoughts:
The Red Garden is really a collection of short stories threaded together by a common town and families.  The stories take place chronologically, with each successive generation.  Key characters and events in the town make appearance throughout the stories.  There is a mystical element to the stories, especially as the events become immortalized within the town history.

Alice Hoffman is a beautiful writer.  She writes in pictures, not just words.  And her stories invokes deep human emotions.  This book is a quiet one.  It does not have a plot or a climax.  Instead it is about loss, redemption, suffering, and love. But ultimately the stories are engaging and engrossing.

The one thing I wish I did was start a family tree.  Since the characters are mostly all related to the original founders, it was sometimes hard to remember how they were all related to each other. 


  1. The only Alice Hoffman I've read is The Dovekeepers, and I just loved it. I'll keep a look out for this one :)

  2. As a writer, Hoffman uses words sparingly yet gets incredible visions placed into your head without a bunch of superficial descriptions. That is a talent.

    Best Reviews for Alaska Fishing Lodge Sitka AK



Related Posts Plugin