I think the characters were written to tell their story for themselves because the reader gets the sense of their messed up lives. You feel their pain. And even though they are different, they are not. Intertwined from generation to generation.
Character Byrdie, Myra's granny chose to have the reader experience her history because it was foreshadowing what Myra was going to do when she was older. A wild streak for the two. Involved with someone young. One worked out the other didn't. Obvious lesson that Myra found out too late from Byrdie is not to run so far from home. Slow it down, because family is all you have at the end.
There was talk about magic. Myra's granny was part of "granny women". Curse was to be lifted all the pain and bad things happened to family when someone was born with haunt eyes. It was broken in a way. Might of skipped Myra when she was born. And her kids had it rough but they are young enough to break way and make it better for themselves. Traditions are important. That's the foundation on how your life plays out. For better or worse it's up to you to make what you want.
Appalachia is the back drop for this story. It can be as wicked as foul weather, or it can be accepting. Myra's husband treated her so badly. I think the one thing I actually felt not just the beatings that she got but he would put her under the house. It was like the story that Edgar Allen Poe wrote "The Premature Burial". Very twisted mind he loves her enough to keep her like that. If he can't have her, her grandmother wasn't either. The contrast of John Odem, Myra, and her children is love, hate that just don't know how to work out for the good. History does repeat itself in the worse way. Nothing from beginning was showed of true warm feelings.
Doug, Myra's friend from childhood says Bloodroot Mountain has an allure to it. Why the two of them felt with one in the mountain I think is because Bloodroot accepted them as themselves. No pain, always seem to find that calming place.
Myra's children do seem to follow that reckless pattern that both Myra and John Odem had. But I believe they do try to straighten out. They are so like Myra that there was a strong bond between them. You have one mother and even though things might not be the way you want. That bond somehow will bless you.
Bloodroot, healing characters like Byrdie, and Ford who showed Myra a better side, and Macon who was Byrdie's strong one. Pain, hateful characters like John Odem. Thought he could wipe out the stuff that happened to his mother and him as a child. But in turn just hurt the person that would of stayed with him to the end. Healing and poison very deceiving like the flower.
I'm glad that I stuck to it and read all the way through. Sure there were parts that drug on but the story itself was pretty good.
The Melting Season by Jami Attenberg, The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine, Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Roses by Leila Meacham, The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker, The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman