Book Review: Green Angel written by Alice Hoffman

In this charming novella (the story’s told in about 120 pages), Alice Hoffman weaves poetry and repetition into a tale of survivor’s guilt and personal reconciliation. It follows Green, a fifteen year old who resents being left behind when the rest of her family traveled to the city. Green tended the garden instead of wishing them a successful journey. When she takes lunch atop a hill that overlooks her family’s destination, she witnesses a disaster. Someone set the place ablaze. Ash coated everything. Smoke blocked out the sunlight. Despair blighted Green’s heart when she realized her family would never return. However, this resourceful young woman recreates herself and helps many others along the way. 

Alice Hoffman’s magical interpretation of emotion, her grasp of parallels in nature and life’s events, and her lyrical language make a potentially sad story truly beautiful. In the final acknowledgements, I was touched to discover the author donated her portion of the profits from the book’s sales to The New York Women’s Foundation.