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Extended Audio Sample Bloodroot, by Amy Greene Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,557 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Amy Greene Narrator: A Full Cas Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Named for a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison, Bloodroot is a stunning fiction debut about the legacies—of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss—that haunt one family across the generations, from the Great Depression to today.

The novel is told in a kaleidoscope of seamlessly woven voices and centers around an incendiary romance that consumes everyone in its path: Myra Lamb, a wild young girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain; her grandmother Byrdie Lamb, who protects Myra fiercely and passes down “the touch” that bewitches people and animals alike; the neighbor boy who longs for Myra yet is destined never to have her; the twin children Myra is forced to abandon but who never forget their mother’s deep love; and John Odom, the man who tries to tame Myra and meets with shocking, violent disaster. Against the backdrop of a beautiful but often unforgiving country, these lives come together—only to be torn apart—as a dark, riveting mystery unfolds.

With grace and unflinching verisimilitude, Amy Greene brings her native Appalachia—and the faith and fury of its people—to rich and vivid life. Here is a spellbinding tour de force that announces a dazzlingly fresh, natural-born storyteller in our midst.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Amy Greene’s Bloodroot can stand proudly beside Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle, two works which likewise examine the isometric push of the human spirit against the immovable forces of tyranny and poverty. Greene’s novel has everything I savor in fiction: flawed but sympathetic characters, a narrative as unpredictable as it is engaging, and a setting rendered with such a vivid palette of local color detail that you’d swear you were there.”

    Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed

  • “Greene’s prose will cast a spell on you.”


  • “That rare sort of family story that feels intimate instead of epic…Alluring and wonderful.”

    Louisville Courier-Journal

  • “Creates indelible, endearing images of the mountains, the small towns, and the townsfolk [of Eastern Tennessee].”

    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

  • “Greene’s debut novel is one that sticks with you, gets under your skin, and wrenches your gut. It enchants with the magic of legend, and chills with the meanness that can fester in people. Greene writes a world both delightfully fanciful and painfully real, a testament to the strength of deep roots and the fragility of old ways in an increasingly paved-over world.”

    Orion Magazine

  • “Nothing less than an epic—a story of madness and magic that spans four generations, an emotionally tangled tale that requires six disparate voices to tell and offers no easy resolutions to the conflicts of the heart.”

    Nashville Scene

  • “A magical story, a story of passion, madness, a mystery, and a wild and tempestuous place.”

    Hudson Valley News

  • “Romantic, riveting, and beautiful: Bloodroot demonstrates how the soul of one woman can possess the spirit of many…Reminiscent of Toni Morrison…Filled with passion and poetry, Bloodroot is an exciting beginning for a literary career.”

    Sacramento News and Review

  • “One of those warm, wise novels that turns into a word-of-mouth sensation…[Bloodroot’s] weird swirl of Southern Gothic and bleak domestic drama keeps the pages turning…Greene has a vivid sense of her mountain and its surrounding communities and that sense of a natural wonderland slowly coming unhinged gives the book [its] soul.”

    A.V. Club

  • Bloodroot spins a web of tragic history, mountain lore, and forbidden love amid the beauty of east Tennessee’s hill country…Will steal your heart.”

    Madison County Herald

  • “Stirring…Entrancing…The novel’s charm comes from its hints of magical realism.”

    USA Today

  • “Haunting…Woven into [Bloodroot] is mountain magic, family history, rural poverty, and each generation’s effort to make things better for their children.”

    Knoxville News-Sentinel

  • “Reminiscent of McCarthy’s early Appalachian fiction…Hard to put down…What consistently remains is Greene’s spot-on account of a land and its people—with its old-fashioned Scots-Irish dialect and its close-knit communities, its homespun Christianity and its folk remedies.”

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • “If Wuthering Heights had been set in southern Appalachia, it might have taken place on Bloodroot Mountain…Brooding, dark, and beautifully imagined.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “Masterful…A fascinating and authentic look at a rural world full of love and life, dreams and disappointment.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Some novels are so powerful, so magical in their sweep and voice, that they leave you feeling drugged…Bloodroot, set in the bone-poor hollows of the eastern Tennessee mountains, is such a book.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Each reader creates for his or her character a well-suited, textured voice rich with accent and sincerity. From Lorna Raver’s sweet, artless, and determined Byrdie to Richard McGonagle’s gruff John, the narrators breathe life into the young and old characters of Bloodroot Mountain.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “This story is really about the fraught, sometimes dangerous, bonds between children and their mothers, and the appalling spillover of violence from one generation to the next…In unadorned but assured prose, Greene…takes her readers to the hard­scrabble world of foster homes and juvenile detention centers, of life in a blue-collar Appalachian town.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Pitch-perfect voices tell a story loaded with lyric suffering and redemption—bound to be a huge hit.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Selected for the January 2010 Indie Next List
  • New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2010 Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book for Debut Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nicole Girolomo | 2/16/2014

    " This was not an easy book to get through but it was interesting to read about a different type of living so far removed from my world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Pauline Rouse | 2/12/2014

    " Wow, this book is just depressing. Also, excellent writing but a dreadfully weak plot "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Karen Hardy | 2/6/2014

    " Was a little apprehensive about the recommended book. The writing style really added to the enjoyment. the book progressed through a different character for each section. You wanted to know more and then it switched characters. The ending was satisfying but somewhat predictable. Takes place in back hills of Kentucky and sometimes that area is overdone. Lots of tragedy but lots of survival and strength. A good read for a summer afternoon. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Shauna | 1/19/2014

    " I didn't finish. The writing is really good, but it was kinda creeping me out. "

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