So many other books would struggle to achieve the depth of emotion covered in this one, with two or three times the number of pages.
“I once believed that life was a gift”
Is how the book opens, and the book is a much about Green’s journey back to that state, as much as it is anything else.
Fifteen year old, Green, is left at home to tend her families garden as her family head into the city, to trade their produce and shop for necessities.
Horrified she watches as that same city, explodes into a cloud of flames. dust and ash. In a moment her whole world changes, and she sinks into a depression so deep, that she becomes a different girl altogether, one who chops off her hair, starts to cover her body in tattoos, and hides behind clothing covered in thorns and nails. A girl she calls Ash.
She tries to shut herself off from the world around her, hide behind the armour of thorns she has created, but that world isn’t quite ready to let her go, and a series of mysterious encounters starts to draw her back to some sort of life.
An incredible little book that’ll drop you in the midst to the deepest pain, and draw you right back out again, filling you with hope. Definitely one that’ll stay with you long after you’ve finished it.
If Green Angel was about coming back to yourself, from the deepest dark corner of your life, then Green Witch, is about coming to terms with just who that ‘self’ is.
We learn more about what and who happened to the city, the event that led Green to the place she’s at in her life now.
Better than she was, but still alone in the world and with too much to despair about, she must set out to face her world head on, and discover that love is indeed the most powerful force in the world, conquer that which is holding her back, and accept everything that she is (and is not).
Once again, Hoffman achieves amazing depths in relatively few pages, whilst Green starts this part of her journey in a much better place than in Green Angel, it’s no less moving for it.
This next bit is a slight spoiler, so feel free to skip the this paragraph, Green does get her happy ending, she knows who she is and is reunited with her love, but thankfully this is also an ending that is rooted firmly in the journey that has led to it. It’s a warm ending, but one that doesn’t forget the price paid. Which makes it all the more satisfying.
There’s always a chance that sequels to books that were written as stand-alones, mar the specialness of the original, thankfully that is not the case with this one. It feels great to see Green’s journey though to its conclusion, and you’ll be just as moved this time around.