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Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

Sometimes you love a book so much that it becomes like an old friend. When you need the memory of that book, it comes back to you and comforts you from time to time. Green Angel by Alice Hoffman is like that for me.

Two years after the September 11 attacks, I decided that my 13-year-old son didn’t read enough books during his summer school breaks. I decided to host a book club for him and four of his best friends. We always met at fun places to discuss the books we read – poolside, pizza parlors, water parks, etc. We read about five books that summer, but the book we all loved the most was Green Angel. The book is about Green, a moody 15-year-old girl. She was the daughter of a farmer who grew produce which the family sold in the city. One day, after a fight with her family, she insists on staying home when they go into the city. There is a huge explosion in the city which causes her to lose some of her vision, and ash keeps falling for days.

Her family never comes home, and Green has to find a way to survive without anyone’s help anymore. Everything that she loved is gone, but this post-apocalyptic story is ultimately a story of survival and healing. This is such a powerful little book with such haunting images and beautifully written prose that I have remembered it for seven years now. Recently, the sequel Green Witch was published, which is the story of Green as a woman. I am looking forward to reading that also.

Last week my son, who is a college student now, turned to me and said, “Mom, do you remember that book that we read for the summer book club, Green Angel? That was a great book.”

“Yes, it was.” I answered. “And it was a great summer.”