The Green Man by Michael Bedard is an eerie, contemplative fantasy novel for young adults.
Ophelia, known as O, is ambivalent about being sent to help her aunt
while her father is traveling and researching for a book. O's aunt Emily
is a poet, a recluse, and a bit eccentric. She owns The Green Man, a
ramshackle used bookstore. O arrives to find her aunt in poor health and
haunted, perhaps literally, by events from her past. As O attempts to
clean up the bookstore and apartment, and to watch over her aunt's
faltering health and haphazard diet, she discovers dark secrets that may
pose a danger to both her aunt and herself.
This is certainly a
quiet book -- it moves at a glacial pace, and though there are exciting
events at the end, they are wrapped, as it were, in trailing streamers
of poetry and symbolism. While I enjoyed this well enough, it's neither
the sort of book that I can see myself rereading, nor the sort that will
spring to my mind when I'm looking for fantasy to recommend. I know
that there are quiet, poetic readers out there who will cherish this
book, but they are a small and unassuming minority, I am afraid.
(Reviewed from a copy sent to me by the publisher, via the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.)