Book: The Green Man
Author: Michael Bedard
Publisher: Tundra Books
Date: April 10, 2012
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
My grade: C+
Teenaged O – never call her Ophelia – is about to spend the summer with her aunt Emily. Emily is a poet and the owner of an antiquarian book store, The Green Man. A proud, independent woman, Emily’s been made frail by a heart attack. O will be a help to her. Just how crucial that help will be unfolds as O first tackles Emily’s badly neglected home, then the chaotic shop. But soon she discovers that there are mysteries and long-buried dark forces that she cannot sweep away, though they threaten to awaken once more. At once an exploration of poetry, a story of family relationships, and an intriguing mystery, The Green Man is Michael Bedard at his finest.
I’m glad that I stuck with this book. At around halfway through the book, the story REALLY picked up and I found that I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. However, getting to that point to begin with was quite difficult.
I’m not sure how to describe this book. I love the spooky elements and the paranormal part of the book, of course, but I also loved the way the author waxed poetic about, well, poetry! This book may be about a teen protagonist, but I don’t really know that I would classify it as YA. It almost felt like something I would read in an English class, with all the philosophical musings about poetry and poets. It was also difficult to stick with at first, like many of the things we were required to read in high school English!
I chose to read this book in the first place because of the title. I’m a big Celtic mythology buff and I was familiar with the Green Man images and some of the beliefs surrounding the Green Man in Celtic myths. I was really hoping that this book would somehow work that in. It didn’t. So if you are looking for a Green Man story, this is not the book for you.
When I got to the end of the book, I realized that I had really enjoyed the story, but I wish that I knew a little bit more about some of the characters and some of the events. Which people were real and which were ghosts? Who or what was Rimbaud? Could O see the people that Emily did? What happened to O? I felt that there were still a lot of holes in the story that I really wanted filled in.
I do think this book needs bonus points for the cover. What a great cover! And no girls in long dresses!
My grade for this book is a C+. I thought it was good…..eventually. It took me a while to get there. So when I add up a so-so beginning with a great final story, I get a decent read. Just be warned that this is a book that requires a little patience.
Thank you to Tundra and to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book. I did not receive any compensation for this review.