Green Angel -  Alice Hoffman A story like this will never grow old. It is timeless as the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky. As ageless as the trees and the grasses in all their richness in summer, and all their love in fall. It is the story of rebirth and, most of all, of Hope... and how that hope will grow from the darkest depths of anyone's prisons. Horrors, pain unimaginable, loneliness, sorrow unending--all these ashes that cover our souls, and darken our days.... This is the story we live through. Through the softest, gentlest, most profound of ways, this is the story we read in Green Angel, and it is the story we are born again through.

I do not know where to even begin to describe the profound impact this story had on me. It has settled in my heart like the heaviest of stones, but one that I know is not only a mere stone. It is a seed. A seed, or perhaps an egg--there settled in my chest, awaiting the chance to softly break, to steadily expand, to spread itself from the depths of me, throughout every muscle, every strand of nerve and thought--to become actions, to be born of dreams and turn into reality. It is like a magic spell, that captures the mind's attention so surely that you are swept away in this river, and are not aware you've been swallowed whole until in a sudden blink, you awaken to find yourself drenched and heavy with the tale. It brings a hand over one's heart, or a bittersweet tear and smile to our faces; it echoes like sorrow so close, and like laughter in the midst of pain. It is a book of memories. A creation so deeply endowed with emotions and the murmurings of the heart that our own hearts wrench in its presence, are torn from within us, beg to be close--because they know those feelings; they have each been there. We are all a witness to that pain. We have all ached and lost so deeply. We can all walk in the ashes. Sometimes, we still remember or know what it is to be lost in them--nothing but ash yourself.

*Smiles gently* ...and then... throughout the midst of our sorrows, our loss... in this shadowed world we have come walking into... like pale beauty, a sun we cannot see, a moon we long greeted only with cries, the stars we shed tears to--softly the warmth of color shades this world. A faint spot: in the earth, on the shelf, or suddenly looking up and noticing: the sky is blue~ ...how blessed that first recognition is of what we forgot: that this is, and forever will be--ours and ours undeniably!--life. ...how great! How the depth rushes around us, and suddenly we realize like the very earth and its offspring, the saplings that push up from the pallid dirt, that we are moving again--moving forward--and that we cannot stop ourselves. Our hearts, our souls--they will not let us.

...this is the story of life again. Of going through the darkness, and finding the light. Of learning that to live is not impossible, even when silence and loneliness and the veil of apathy have claimed us. It is written elusively, and yet persuades the heart to listen and respond. All we have to do... is give it the chance to speak, and it will unfold worlds for us. Without words, without complications of language, or situation, or happenstance. Like fairy tales and magic, it will give us a meaning deeper than what words can weave. It takes only a willing heart--an open mind--to understand it.

Though my review is cryptic for some, and too elusive for others, the book is one that speaks and is written from the heart. You have only to read the first few pages to realize why I have written in a manner so unfitting the everyday language of honest critique. *Smiles* I feel that this book deserved an emotive response, because for me, it is my memories, my present, my heart, and my soul it touched.

Readers, give this book a shot. It is beauty without the need to describe itself as such. And it is a miracle of life that no one should turn away, even if you end up not enjoying some aspects of it. Look beyond that. Give it a chance. It can be liberating.