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The Red Garden: Book summary and reviews of The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

The Red Garden

by Alice Hoffman

The Red Garden
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2011
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

"The Red Garden introduces us to the luminous and haunting world of Blackwell, Massachusetts. 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.

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, the characters in The Red Garden are extraordinary and vivid: a young wounded Civil War soldier who is saved by a 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 garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look. The Red Garden is as unforgettable as it is moving.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In gloriously sensuous, suspenseful, mystical, tragic, and redemptive episodes, Hoffman subtly alters her language, from an almost biblical voice to increasingly nuanced and intricate prose reflecting the burgeoning social and psychological complexities her passionate and searching characters face in an ever-changing world." - Booklist

"Fans of Hoffman’s brand of mystical whimsy will find this paean to New England one of her most satisfying." - Kirkus Review

"Starred Review. ... [A] compelling collection of fairy tales suffused with pathos and brightened by flashes of magic. Her fans ... will be enchanted." - Library Journal

"The prose is beautiful, the characters drawn sparsely but with great compassion." - Publishers Weekly

"Each episode in The Red Garden is a marvel - there isn't a disappointing one in the bunch." - Entertainment Weekly

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KATHLEEN LINDENMUTH

The Red Garden
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Author Information

Alice Hoffman Author Biography

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing.  She currently lives in Boston and New York.  

Hoffman's first novel, Property Of, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux. She credits her mentor, professor and writer Albert J. Guerard, and his wife, the writer Maclin Bocock Guerard, for helping her to publish her first short story in the magazine Fiction. Editor...

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