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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An oldie but a goodie -extremely moving, 14 April 2013
This review is from: The Green Years (Bello) (Paperback)
I can't believe that I am the first to review this book! Maybe that's a function of its age, having been first published in 1944. Anyway, it's an oldie but a goodie and here's why.

The narrative is well-paced, holding my attention at every moment. The turn of phrase is poetic at times and demonstrates a fine sensibility to the nuances of daily life and Nature. Each character is fully developed and what is unusual in many novels, each character evolves over the years of the life of the protagonist, Robie. The end is a "deus ex machina" which works very well but is unfortunately given away by the blurb on the back cover of my copy.

As someone who grew up in Yorkshire as a baby boomer, I was surprised to discover how many of our dialectal phrases were shared with people living in Scotland. Of course, many phrases came back from India with the soldiers after the Second World War, but apparently many phrases were endemic to the North of England and Scotland. For me it was a delight to revisit this language which reminds me of my childhood.

With regard to the mood of the novel -- which reads more like a memoir -- the dogged resistance of Robie to all the disappointments that his childhood and teenage years bring to him is an inspiring example to all. The underlying "message" seems to be that goodness brings its own rewards. It is interesting how the author treats religion in a gentle but unrelentingly critical manner, leaving free-thinkers room to feel justified in their rejection of the fantasy of belief.

I loved this work of literature and my old and battered version of "The Green Years" which I found by accident has earned its place in my personal library.
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Location: France

Top Reviewer Ranking: 34,814