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The Children of Green Knowe (Penguin Audiobooks) Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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This is not an easy book, and therein lies its charm. L M Boston's classic is a sophisticated mood piece disguised as a children's ghost story. As young Toseland goes to live with his grandmother in the family's ancestral home, the reader is plunged immediately into the world of Green Knowe. Like Toseland, who actually rows up to his new home in the midst of a flood, we have a hard time finding our bearings. Toseland discovers a funny kind of grandmother awaiting him--one who speaks elliptically of the children and animals she keeps around the house: they might be memories, they might be ghosts. It's never quite clear where real life leaves off and magic begins. Toseland admires a deer: "A deer seems more magic than a horse." His grandmother is quick to respond: "Very beautiful fairy-tale magic, but a horse that thinks the same thoughts that you do is like strong magic wine, a love philtre for boys."
With this meshing of the magical and the real, Boston evokes a childlike world of wonder. She compounds the effect by combining gorgeous images and eerily evocative writing. Toseland goes out on a snowy morning: "In front of him, the world was an unbroken dazzling cloud of crystal stars, except for the moat, which looked like a strip of night that had somehow sinned and had no stars in it." The loosely plotted story is given more resonance still through liberal use of biblical imagery and Anglo-Saxon mythology. For those willing to suspend their disbelief and read carefully, the world of Green Knowe offers a wondrous escape. - -Claire Dederer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"This is a book . . . to own and read aloud and come back to over and over again. It is one of the best fantasies I have ever read."--"Horn Book"
"An uncommon tale . . . told with a gratifying blend of the eerie, the sinister, and the familiar."--"New Yorker"
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first scene is a familiar one: a lonely child (in this case a boy called Tolly) arrives by train to some isolated country station, to stay with relatives in a crumbling, English mansion.
What follows is more original, as stories of an almost mythical, 18th century past mingle with with Tolly's 50s (?) present... He catches glimpses of three mysterious children in the old rooms of the house, and soon enough we understand they come from another time.
Tender melancholia and great fun go together in this book. It's a comforting read for children - or at least it was to me as a child - and definitely something I will want to read to my own kids in the future. In the meantime, I'm buying a copy for myself to read on cold winter nights!
Toseland arrives by river at night to stay with his grandmother. He meets children who lived in the house a very long time ago. The entire book is full of wonderful magic and so is the house still today. Everything is exactly the same and I can't imagine how they manage it. It's not a museum, the day we visited, Lucy's daughter in law had cooked dinner for countless family members and she was concerned about the grandchildren going too near the bees.
I heard several mothers on the tour agree that this was their favourite children's book as they had enjoyed reading it as much as their children enjoyed hearing it. I think it would probably be suitable for any child from age 8 upwards, and any adult who loves magical old fashioned tales of animals and birds, gypsies and horses, and a lonely little boy who finds friendship and love in the magical old manor.
And after reading the book, its possible to step into its pages by visiting the Manor. The music room where Lucy Boston gave recitals to the RAF in the second world war, is entirely intact, down to the mattresses around the wall where they sat, and the 1930's gramophone, which still plays - we heard it. The wonderful gardens and Lucy's patchworks can also be admired.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not come across the Green Knowe books in my childhood, much to my surprise. I only heard of Lucy M Boston and the books because friends suggested visiting the original house... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Kizzy
I first heard of this many years ago from BBC children's TV. It is scary and utterly brilliant. I bought it for a friend as she hadn't read it. It works for grown ups too. Read morePublished 6 months ago by C. Wilson
Simply magical, enchanting and the best childrens book ever which I often read still today!Published 9 months ago by Geoff Bailey
I loved Lucy Boston's books as a child and are re-visiting them as an adult. Which is a very rewarding experience.Published 12 months ago by Mrs Julie A Gough
This is a heart-warming story that takes me back to my own childhood and reading classics, tucked up in bed, on a chilly winter evening.Published 14 months ago by Miss G C Turner
I first read this as a child, many, many years ago, but my memories of it were muddled, although I remembered enjoying it. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lanjis Liho