Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Green Man by Michael Bedard

The Green Man by Michael Bedard is an eerie, contemplative fantasy novel for young adults.

Teenage 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.)


  1. Um...I have wanted to read this one ever since I heard of it, and still do--i am a sucker for old bookstores!

    1. Hey, "every book its reader" -- perhaps you are the perfect reader for this particular book. :-)