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According to Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, when she went back to Ohio, her city was gone. For Jen Hirt, her Strongsville, Ohio greenhouses were gone. Her ancestry, bloodlines, memories, and her complete identity were replaced by a large-chain pharmacy store. Four generations taken away by the wrecking ball; fourteen greenhouses dismantled and shattered. Under Glass traces the rise and fall of the family business and the family itself.
Hirt is the girl with a thousand Christmas trees, growing up surrounded by life and vitality. She is the greenhouse filled with hope and growth. Then the rubble sets in—financial pressures, a brutal divorce, and the literal demolition of her past. This story is Hirt’s memoir, told with poignancy and honesty. As honest as the greenhouse tattoo she has on her arm. As true as love turning into despair. As genuine as the modern rebirth of the family business, not at the center of town, but smaller and internet-based. For Hirt, the greenhouse metaphor, in its richness, is the soul of America and her life.
University of Akron Press
Creative non-fiction, Greenhouse, Ohio
Hirt, Jen, "Under Glass: The Girl with a Thousand Christmas Trees" (2010). The University of Akron Press Publications. 132.