The Red Garden
By Alice Hoffman
Crown Publishers, 2011. 270 pgs. Fiction
This novel traces vignettes from the 300-year history of Blackwell, Massachusetts, starting with the founders who set up camp one winter and barely survived, to the man who came through planting apple trees on his way out west, to the civil war soldier who came home with one leg, and on through the present day. Woven throughout the stories of the founders and their descendants is the red garden, which inexplicably draws people to it generation after generation, and where everything that is planted mysteriously comes up red.
This is a beautifully told story that will draw you in from the first pages. It was interesting to see how people's lives were touched by earlier generations, and how their stories wound around and built upon each other, each unique and yet all of them becoming part of Blackwell.