GREEN ANGEL BOOK
Green Angel is a post-apocalyptic young adult novel written by Alice Hoffman. It tells the . Green often leaves food out for Heather throughout the book. Start by marking “Green Angel (Green Angel, #1)” as Want to Read: The startling, universally acclaimed breakthrough YA novel from master bestselling author Alice Hoffman, now in paperback. Left on her own when her family dies in a terrible disaster, fifteen-year-old Green is. Green Angel (Green Angel, #1), Green Witch (Green Angel, #2), and Green Book 1. Green Angel. by Alice Hoffman. · 9, Ratings · 1, Reviews.
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The startling, universally acclaimed breakthrough YA novel from master bestselling author Alice Hoffman, now in resourceone.info on her own when her family. Find the complete Green Angel book series by Alice Hoffman. Great deals on one book or all books in the series. Free US shipping on orders over $ This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Green Angel by Alice Hoffman. Like many of prolific American author Alice Hoffman's novels.
But Hoffman creates a careful balance, crafting an achingly lovely backdrop to the transfiguration of a compelling character whose very self becomes a metaphor for renewal. Ages up. View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author. Buy this book. Apple Books.
Reviewed on: Mass Market Paperbound - pages - I thought about how hot it had been at the moment when it happened. How everything around me had been green as far as the eye could see. How the sky had been so cloudless, not even a puff of white. As I walked back to my house in the dark, making my way past the brambles, I noticed that the songbirds who were usually asleep in their nests at this hour were fluttering nervously from tree to tree.
It was then I realized it wasn't nighttime at all, but sooty daylight, noon perhaps. The sun had been shadowed by ashes. Now I understood. The world as I knew it was gone forever. What I had thought was the moon up above, as familiar as Aurora's face, was in fact the cloudy sun.
On this day, even that circle of light looked so much smaller than it once had, a teardrop in the sky. People in town must have assumed I had perished along with my family. No one came to search for me, and that was just as well.
I was glad to be deep in the woods, away from them all. If anyone had tried to rescue me, I would have hidden behind our barn. I would have gone to the darkest part of the woods where the hedges were ten feet tall and the brambles cut the soles of your feet right through your shoes. My grief was cold. It was nothing to share. It was nothing to speak about, nothing to feel.
I ate food from the pantry and kicked at the ashes in the garden. But I was lazy and did no work.
What was the point? If this was the future, I wasn't certain I wanted to be in it. I started to feel as though I were disappearing. Perhaps I myself was a figment of my own imagination, a storm cloud, a wisp of smoke, a burning ember. I could hear people singing in town; I could hear the church bells ringing.
People were going about the business of living as best they could. They could see past today, into tomorrow. But not me. Grief had tied me in knots. There was no gas for the stove, but I didn't cut wood. There was no tap water, but I didn't go to the well. If I could have stopped breathing, I would have. I watched time moving, slowly, like dust motes, like gnats on a summer day, circling close, but never touching me. The looters who came must have assumed they had the freedom to do whatever they pleased.
What I had was theirs for the taking. What I had was up for grabs. As it turned out, I didn't hear a thing until they were inside the gate.
I was deeply asleep. I had fallen into sleep the way stones fall into a well. The looters had stumbled onto the property in the middle of the night and they didn't even pretend stealth. When I heard them shouting and screaming inside of my dreams, I awoke with a start, a cold band across my chest. The dog was whimpering, but thankfully he didn't bark. Silence was what we needed. Silence was all we had while they stole everything worth taking from the garden. I crawled to the window and saw there were maybe a dozen boys and girls my age.
They strode over the delicate seedlings with heavy boots, they pawed through the piles of ash I had planned to rake in their frantic search for anything to eat.
They tossed lettuce and cucumbers and squash blossoms into the wheelbarrow they'd stolen from our barn. W7hatever they didn't gorge on was loaded onto the wheelbarrow, till it nearly overflowed. Blackened peppers, singed peas, burnt cauliflower, all of it ripped from the garden. All of it gone before I could count to three. I was quiet because I could tell they'd been drinking.
There was the edge of something dark out there in the garden as they tugged and pulled at everything I had worked so hard to grow. Fights broke out.
Words were slurred. I recognized a girl named Heather Jones I'd been at school with along with several boys from my classes. I thought perhaps they had also lost their families. I knew Heather's parents worked in the city. I knew they'd never let her run wild with a greedy horde such as this. No one out in the garden looked like themselves in the black ashy night. The boys had painted their faces with mud and berry juice.
The girls were all barefoot, in spite of the fact that there were still burning embers at the bottom of the piles of ashes. I had canned food in the pantry, maybe enough to share, but these intruders looked desperate. They wanted to take whatever they saw, they wanted to ruin anything that thwarted them, and the most I could do was crouch by the window and watch them. I was Green, who stayed in the shadows, who shivered and hushed the dog when it whimpered as the looters wrecked fences, tore out stakes, danced in the ashes.
Green, who did nothing but shake while the troop in the yard destroyed everything in their path. Perhaps they would have come into the house after that and taken whatever they wanted.
Perhaps that was why one of the boys started up the path littered with fallen white moths. But a stone hit that boy square in the back, startling him. He stopped and turned to the woods. Something hooted out there. There was a cackle, human or animal it was impossible to tell. More stones fell then, one after another. The cackle rose high, a hen, a ghost, a spirit, the wind.
No one knew what it was, but the mob was not about to wait and find out. Heather Jones ran away first, crying that there was even worse luck in store for those who stayed where they were. There should have been strength m numbers, but once the looters stopped wrecking things they were only boys and girls, easily frightened. The rest of the crowd soon followed Heather. Why shouldn't they go?
Green Angel Series
They had already taken everything edible, piled into the wheelbarrow. The'd alread had their fun. When I went out in the morning, there was nothing left but ashes and stones. We had been at the height of our harvest, row after row of new zucchini and purple onions, of peppers that were shiny as frogs and blueberry bushes that were thickening with fruit. That garden was gone. Those days were over. Standing there, I knew my family wasn't coming back.
I could feel it the way you can feel the wind across your face. Invisible, but certain. Sure as the blood in vour veins. I took them far into the woods, out to where the oldest trees grew. Was it an accident that these stones had fallen, or was it something more? Should I be grateful to someone who had watched over me? I didn't know what to believe. I didn't know if I believed in anything at all. Carefully, I made three piles: one for my mother, one for my father, one for my little sister.
Every day I carted stones and every day I added to the growing stacks. Black for my mother, silver for my father, pure white for my sister, the hardest to find.
The white stones tossed into our garden were best of all, they were like moonstones, aglow with light. Wherever I went, I carried stones in my pockets, my hands, my boots. It was my duty, my burden, my gift, my soul, the reason I woke in the morning and went to sleep at night. Now I had a purpose, to build the stone stacks. I had known the woods before, now I knew them nearly blind and in the dark. I could find my way by touch. My fingers could tell the difference between east and west.
I could rub a clod of dirt under my thumb and gauge how close to the river I was. Before long, I could hold a fallen feather in the palm of my hand and tell whether it belonged to a jay or a sparrow or a dove. When the stacks of stones were tall as the tallest men in the village, I went on to my next task. I began to clean the house.
I was determined to get rid of all the ashes. I swept the floor until the straw bristles of the broom were ragged from use. I cleaned until my fingers hurt, and when it was done, when the brass doorknobs were shining and the kettles were scrubbed and the windows were bright with light, I turned on myself. I chopped off all my burnt hair with the scissors my mother had used to trim the roses beside the front door. My hair was nothing more than a black curtain.
I didn't need it anymore. My hair reminded me of my mother, it was the only way I was like her, the one feature we shared. I didn't want to be prideful anymore. I wanted to be as hard and brittle as the stones I carted into the woods, stones that could not feel or cry or see.
That is what I wished for as I walked past the brambles, as I built the stacks in the woods higher and higher. I wished not to feel anything at all. I had no idea that even in the darkest world, there are some wishes that can come true. Now I understand that those are the ones to think over most carefully. Those are the wishes that can wound just as surely as the sharpest arrow. In no time, what I wished for, I became.
Soon enough, I began wearing my father's old black boots and a battered leather jacket that felt like armor. I kept several smooth rocks in my pockets along with a slingshot fashioned out of wood and a belt. I planned to be ready in case the looters came back. I smoked cigarettes I discovered in a drawer. I drank from the bottle of gin kept in the cupboard until my stomach burned. One night when the sky was ashcolored, I went into the ruined garden and clipped the thorns from the bare rosebushes, then sewed them to my clothes, one by one, until my fingers bled.
Now I was ready to feel nothing. I was protected from feeling anything at all.
All the same, there was less and less food in the pantry and my stomach growled all the time. I hated it for wanting food. I didn't deserve anything, not food to ease my hunger or water to ease my thirst. I should have been on that street weighing vegetables when it happened. Instead, I had been weeding and thinking about my lunch. I was standing under the perfect, blue sky feeling sorry for myself.
That was when I took a pin and some black ink. I began to mark my arm. I outlined a raven, and then a bat, then a rose that looked like a flower found at the end of the world.
That's who I was now without my mother and my father and my moonlit sister. Blood and ink. Darkness where before there had been patience, black where there'd once been green. The decision of who would stay and who would go to the city was made arbitrarily that day, a single white page of fate that altered our future.
I could have insisted. I could have run after them. Then I would have been there to turn to my mother at the instant when it happened. The last thing I saw would have been her black hair and the O fire behind her, red as roses. But I was the one who was still alive, the girl whose eyes burned, whose vision was blurry, whose stomach growled, who wrote upon herself with black ink, as if that could change anything.
Once, I had wanted only one thing: to be sixteen.
One simple, easy desire. That day wasn't so far away, but it might as well have been forever. I was no more certain that my wish would be granted than I was that daylight would remain, that the birds would sing, that my garden would grow. Soul Wanting only darkness, I began to sleep. I slept longer and longer. I ignored daylight and hope. I didn't care if the sky had begun to clear. Most of the ashes had fallen to the ground, leaving the horizon a faint washed-out blue.
On several occasions I had noticed white clouds. There was the promise of sunshine. That wasn't what I wanted.
I would rather sleep than eat or see the sky. Each time I put away my ink and pins, I closed all the windows. I drew the shades. When I went to sleep, This is what I dreamed under the table where I felt safer, I tied a scarf around my burning eyes so not even the tiniest bit of light could disturb me or remind me of what I had lost.
When I slept, I dreamed of the world as it was. My sister was clearing away the ashes. My sister was opening the window. Her hair was the color of moonlight, ice-colored, knotted from sleep. Help me, she'd demand when the window stuck fast in my dreams, when the door wouldn't open, when the ashes were so deep she'd never be able to clear them away all alone.
I'd rise from my bed and do as she asked because I couldn't deny her anything. Once again, I was Green, who had patience. I was the girl with long, black hair who held the open book, white pages, empty and clean, black words flying like ravens, still waiting for the future, still hopeful, still me. Whenever I dreamed and my sister was beside me, I could breathe easier. Auroras skin was silver, aglow with light.
Sometimes in my dreams she had grown up and was my age exactly. Even as my twin she was still my beloved opposite: the moon, not brackish green water. Bright, not dim. Wild, not plodding and shy. She was my sister and she knew my thoughts before they were spoken. She knew why I couldn't bear to see. Why I wanted the cinders in my eyes. Why I never bothered going to my mother's medicine cabinet, where there were so many ointments and cures. My vision was little more than shadows, but even in my dreams, I wouldn't search for a cure.
You know what you have to do in order to see, Aurora told me. She pinched me and pulled my hair to try to make me cry, but I wouldn't. Not in my sleep nor in my waking life. My sister may have been cold as silver in my dreams, but she was as real to me as the candlesticks on the dining room table. As real as the moon climbing into the ink-black sky. As real as needles and pins.
Each time I awoke, I felt her slip through my grasp, a cloud of mist evaporating in the light of day. While I was sweeping the floor, while I collected buckets of water from the well, while I counted the jars of blackberry jam that were left in the pantry, first four, then two, then none at all, I was still with my sister.
Each night, before I slept, I took the black ink and tattooed ravens and roses and bats that could fly through the dark. Though I was almost blind, I could see well enough to do this. I could spy black ink, sorrow, loss, hearts breaking. I could see well enough to see that I was alone. I could see that soon enough I'd be starving if I didn't figure out what to do next.
I had picked all the blackberries that grew in the woods, all the blueberries, all the raspberries. I had found wild asparagus and made soups in the black pot I kept on the fire I left burning in the stove. My hands were rough from chopping wood, from gathering asparagus in the marshes, from collecting the few berries that hadn't been singed black from the heat across the river. There were very few tins left in the pantry, no flour, no salt. And my stomach went on growling, wanting me to stay alive.
But I wasn't a fool. I took precautions. I wore my leather jacket, my clothes with thorns, my heavy boots into which I had hammered half a dozen nails.
I carried my i stones and my slingshot. I was ready for looters, wild men, highway robbers. I expected almost anything, but when I left the woods for the mam thoroughfare, all that greeted me was an unnatural silence. There used to be traffic; there were trains that ran on the hour racing across the silver bridge into the city. Now the bridge had all but melted in the heat from the city.
It was closed, a thick rope tied across the entrance.
People stayed close to home, worried about what might await them on the open road. There used to be children headed to the river to swim on hot days; now there was no one.
There used to be bicyclists, carts, farmers on their wav into town to the monthly market; now there was nothing but the dust I kicked into the air with every step I took. My sister's dog had followed me. He snarled at the few strays lurking about, pets left to fend for themselves when their owners failed to return home. On one corner there were two dead ravens, their feathers thick with ash. The plum trees that had lined the road were leafless, the bark gray. When I passed the church just outside the village, there was a sign printed with the names of everyone who'd been lost.
Alice Hoffman - Green Angel
One after another, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. I was amazed by how many there were. But I was not surprised to see my name among them. The girl I had been, the one called Green, they were right about her. She was gone. The shopkeeper at the general store stared hard when he saw me. He didn't know who I was, with my short hair and my black ink and the nails in my shoes.
He reached for the club he kept near his money box, ready to fight me off if need be. Even after I told him I was my parents' daughter, he didn't seem to believe me. He spoke to me from a distance, keeping the counter between us, as if he were conversing with a ghost.
Everyone said you were dead, he insisted. I didn't dispute this. I didn't say these people were wrong. I just took what I'd brought to trade out of my backpack and held it up to the light.
The shopkeeper noticed my cloudy eyes; he could tell I was half-blind, and perhaps this was why he tried to cheat me.
He told me the ring I had was copper. But I knew it was gold. My mother had kept this ring in a bowl on her dresser, and I had played with it ever since I was a baby. I knew what I held in my hands. Pure sunlight.
Pure gold. I laughed at the idea that my mother's most valued piece of jewelry was copper. The sound of my voice frightened the shopkeeper and he stepped even farther away. He didn't know what to expect from me, but one thing was certain. I wasn't shy anymore. I wasn't that quiet, moody girl Green, whom anyone could fool. I was the girl who could touch the earth and gauge where to find the river.
I was the one who could feel sorrow in the wind. I knew that gold was heavy, copper warm, and the silver candlesticks I brought forth from my backpack felt like ice.
I suppose you're going to tell me these are a deer's antlers, I said of the candlesticks, which had been cast by J one of the finest silversmiths in the city. I know what I have, I told the shopkeeper. I expect to be paid well. That was the last of any arguments at the general store.
As a matter of fact, the shopkeeper called for his wife, who came to watch me with narrowed eyes, as if I were a circus act or a charlatan.
Green, the shopkeeper's wife said uncertainly. She'd known my family quite well and had often bought vegetables from my mother. But in the world we now lived in, why should she trust me any more than I trusted her? Why shouldn't she gawk at the nails in my boots, the slingshot in my pocket?
The shopkeeper and his wife tested my ability to distinguish by touch. If I could identify silver and gold, what else might I know? Sure enough I could tell green tea from black, navy beans from kidney beans, earth from ashes, honesty from deceit. I had another talent, it seemed. One that made people nervous. After that, rumors flew around quickly enough. There were those who swore that anyone who touched my hand would be visited by bad fortune.
I didn't disagree. I wanted the looters to hear about how I could turn the luck of anyone who came near me. And who was to say I wasn't cursed? I had lost my mother and my father and my sister, and sometimes when I caught a glimpse of myself in a shop window, I wondered if perhaps I hadn't lost myself as well. Every time I tried to say my name out loud the word stuck in my throat, a black stone, a silver stone, a stone as white as moonlight. Before long, every shopkeeper on Mam Street knew of my talents and my cloudy eyes.
Even the looters, gathered under bridges and on street corners, were wary and stayed clear. In every store, people I'd known all my life hurried when I came to trade what I no longer desired for what I needed. They were forced to be honest with me, and they gave me what I'd come for. Gold and silver in exchange for cranberry juice, white rice, bandages, brown sugar, salt, vitamins. Coins and candlesticks for eggs, tins of baked beans, sugar, vinegar, laundry soap, candles.
There were good people in town who were helping out their neighbors and others who saw an opportunity for greed. Some people were busy cleaning the ashes out of the schoolhouse, while others were selling overpriced lanterns and oil and counting their profits. Honorable or not, most people were desperate for good fortune. Many hung horseshoes above their doors. They made certain to keep sprigs of rosemary nearby, to protect them from evil. But I knew better. I was defended with my nails and my thorns.
I wore boots with nails, a scarf of black thorns. One time when I was leaving town with my heavy backpack, a woman I recognized, a teacher of mine, called out for me to be careful on the road.
She was kindhearted, and I remembered her lessons in language and history. But she wasn't my teacher anymore. I waved, but I hadn't learned anything new from her. I already knew that danger was everywhere. I took a different route home each time to ensure that no one would follow Onion and me. I favored paths so rocky and steep, anyone else would have stumbled. It was the season when the earth turned red and yellow, when the whole countryside was blessed with orange light, but not anymore.
Usually the leaves changed slowly: rubies, garnets, amber. This year, they had all dropped off at the same time. This was the season when my sister and I had gathered fallen apples from the trees in our neighbor's orchard.
The old woman would chase us away, shouting and throwing stones that dropped harmlessly on the grass. Now, the orchards were bare and the apple trees were as fruitless as fence posts. The hillsides were black; the road littered with garbage. Feral house cats living in the ditches would claw at any kindness, and Onion was so afraid of these wild cats, I had to carry him when they hissed and showed their claws.
I tried to avoid the looters who had wrecked my garden. I'd heard they'd taken up residence near the river, at a place made out of half-dead timbers they called the forgetting shack. Some slept beneath bridges, but they all gathered at the fire they kept burning when the dark began to fall.
I could smell smoke coming from their direction. When I held up my hands to the east, where they were gathered, I could feel their pain, a kind of pain that was much worse than what I did to myself with my ink and my pins. Once in a while, the looters arrived at a house in town in the middle of the night, threatening the citizens, demanding food.
Most of them were no older than me, a few were only eleven or twelve. They had lost their parents, and, one by one, they'd run away from their empty homes. They drank gin until they were dizzy. They made themselves sick with whatever they found in their parents' medicine cabinets, tablets to make them woozy with dreams, pills that kept them up all night. I had seen Heather Jones, the girl I knew who had joined them, panhandling on a corner.
She had woven a hundred braids in her hair, and she wore what had once been a beautiful white dress. People walked by without looking, they didn't want to see the emptiness in her eyes, but I put some coins in her tin. I didn't wait for her to thank me. That's not why I did it.
It was because I remembered the white dress she wore, how pretty she'd looked in school, how jealous I'd been. Now, the fabric was torn from the brambles she slept upon. Now, it was closer to gray. I could hear the looters every once in a while, music rising from down at the forgetting shack at the river. I felt protected by my bad reputation and the nails I hammered into the trees all around my I house, a warning not to come near.
But sometimes I'd wake in the night and I'd listen to their music. I couldn't help myself. One day, her family goes to the city to sell produce, leaving Green behind. Many people in the city die that day, leaving behind orphans and heartbroken survivors. Ashes from the fire make Green half-blind and singes her hair, forcing her to cut her hair off. Green, deeply sorrowed, changes her appearance and personality and renames herself Ash as she decides to destroy her past to cover the internal pain she is suffering.
She tattoos almost her entire body with black roses, vines and bats, continuing to suffer but growing indifferent toward her pain. Over time as she takes care of herself, through interactions with several kinds of animals that dote on her, a silent boy she calls Diamond, and a kind old neighbor, Green starts to heal from her pain. As she grows, she finds her leaf and stem tattoos turning green and the rosebuds turning red.
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Finally, on her 16th birthday, she is no longer Ash, as she once used to be, but is once again Green, finding the taste of summer and apples within her. Green has long dark hair, and describes herself as preferring plants and stones to people. She tends to the family garden and she doesn't appreciate herself and knows the medical uses for many plants.Now, it was closer to gray. She was a ghostdog, mist through the woods, a pale cloud, silent and graceful.
I felt protected by my bad reputation and the nails I hammered into the trees all around my I house, a warning not to come near. Several times, I'd left my sister in my dreams, and risen from my bed under the table. When I held up my hands to the east, where they were gathered, I could feel their pain, a kind of pain that was much worse than what I did to myself with my ink and my pins. Instead, the novella focuses on how the loss of her family and way of life affect the main character, Green.
I left pots of Diamond's stew for her, along with bottles of clean well-water. When the greyhound rested her muzzle in my outstretched hand, I understood why I'd thought she was sorrow.
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