The Children of Green Knowe

Lucy M. Boston

This is the first of the six books about Green Knowe, an ancient and mysterious house. The book open with young Toseland (Tolly) Oldknow travelling alone while his parents are overseas to visit his great-grandmother who lives in his ancestral home of Green Knowe, where his family has lived for centuries. The countryside has been flooded due to heavy rains and Tolly reaches the house by boat, adding to his romance. The garden of the house has an extensive collection of topiary animals and two large trees Green Noah and his wife. Tolly finds Green Noah to be a bit frightening.

From the first Tolly senses the presence of unseen others, occasionally finding things have moved or hearing strange noises. His great-grandmother tells him stories of their family history, particularly about three children in a portrait who lived in the house and died of the plague. To Tolly it is almost as though she can still see them. Gradually Tolly starts to see and then talk to the three children from the the time of King Charles II, nearly three hundred years before. They are not frightening, instead they give Tolly a connection to his family history and become his friends and companions. They tell him stories including how Green Noah was cursed. The story comes to a frightening climax as Tolly's friends try to help him escape from danger.

Reviewed by Adam Quinan, June, 2009

This article is ©2009 by Adam Quinin, and posted on All Things Ransome with permission.

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