Aquamarine author Alice Hoffman creates a work of literary art with this halcyon fairy tale about loss and renewal.
In lyrical words that "unfold like white flowers, petal by petal, each in its own time and season," Hoffman introduces us to Green, a gentle teen whose name reveals her connection to the earth and a peaceful beauty that contrasts with her sunny sister, Aurora. Yet when Aurora and her parents perish in tragic, fiery events in town, a solitary Green transforms herself into Ash: hard and closed, cropped hair, thorns on her sweater, with ink roses and ravens drawn on her skin. Facing an apocalyptic future of looters visiting her garden and suspicious looks from townsfolk, Green has only the family dog to keep her company. But when a ghostly greyhound and a hooded boy suddenly appear for companionship, she slowly realizes that "Ash" is only temporary, while "Green" is her soul, her life, healing all this time inside, waiting to be reborn.
Weaving magical words into images that caress the spirit, Hoffman's Green Angel is no less remarkable and awe-inspiring than nature itself. The author has not only told a life-affirming story about a girl who must survive on her own, she's captured emotion itself by using language to enchant and teach. Readers will be absorbed by the book's transcendent power, and as Green begins a new future that takes shape at end of the book, readers will come away feeling rejuvenated and uplifted themselves. Shana Taylor