Summary (Masterplots II: British and Commonwealth Fiction Series)
Crispin Clare awakens in an old house in Suffolk, the home of his ancestors, to which he has returned to recuperate from a serious but unspecified illness (the reader later learns that it was malaria, which eventually provoked attempted suicide). Looking out his bedroom window, he sees a world covered with snow, while on his wall hangs a painting, done by his widowed cousin Alicia Clare, showing the same view on a beautiful summer’s day. Although it is winter and freezing in the cottage, it is also a morning suffused with “the new year’s astonishing first white light,” and although Clare is still ill, he ruminates in his half-waking state that “the doing” (of what, the reader is not told) “might even be the rebeginning of his health.” Trying to recapture the fever-dream of the night before, he is forced fully awake by the ringing of the downstairs phone. It is Mikey and Lucy, Alicia’s two younger children, inviting him over to see what their Ouija board has been “writing” for their friend Amabel.
Thus begins The Girl Green as Elderflower, a novel in which little happens in the way of external action, yet which takes its main character through a process of healing and renewal, as he comes to grips with his past and integrates it with the present. The novel is structured accordingly: The first twothirds is titled “January”; the last third is broken into three brief sections titled “April,” “May,” and “June.”...
(The entire section is 1804 words.)
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