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Not My Cup Of Tea
on 12 May 2015
The Children of Green Knowe is a fairly classic English children's book that I only recently came across. Tolly ends up at his great grandmother's house in Green Knowe, after his mother has died and his father is abroad. The house seems big and childless, but Tolly quickly makes friends with children... who are no longer alive. The house is full of memories, palimpsest and magic.
I had pretty high expectations, but it just didn't work for me. I really wanted to like this book, but it somehow didn't work for me. I think it was just too simple in one way; too complex in another. The 'ghosts' of previous children I found confusing. This may be to do with there only being about five names shared between a million generations, but I also didn't find their personalities particularly distinctive. And was Linnet Tolly's mother, therefore his great-grandmother's grand-daughter? Or is there another generation mixed in there as well? Maybe I'm being obtuse, but I got lost.
Not an awful lot happened. Tolly made friends with the animals (putting margarine on your hands sounds disgusting!), discovered stories about the past, met a few people and had Christmas. There was one point that was pretty creepy where Tolly is scared in the dark on his own, but apart from that there wasn't too much atmospheric interest.
(I also found the lack of chapters quite difficult, but this is my own problem, and rather silly and I know that.)