Posted by: Sally Ingraham | March 5, 2009

SRC: Treasure of Green Knowe, and The River at Green Knowe

Treasure at Green Knowe by L. M. Boston #2

TreasureGreen Knowe is a house, of course, and a character as well in these stories. Centuries old, with stone walls three feet deep, narrow and ark-like, set on a small hill that during floods turns into an island, the house is full of memories and ghosts, and supernatural evens occur there so gently that they seem entirely natural.

Tolly returns in this book, all of 9 years old, and bursting with excitement over spending the school holidays with his great-grandmother. There’s a different set of ghosts for him to play with this time round, and a mystery to solve.

Once again L. M. Boston brings to life both Tolly’s time, and the time period that he drifts back to, and evokes a lovely sense of wonder. I felt like I was returning to a place that I loved as well, and enjoyed getting to know the house and it’s history better.

The River at Green Knowe by L. M. Boston #3

RiverL. M. Boston threw a curve ball with this book. I felt jarred and confused when I began reading. Green Knowe is the only familiar character in the story, and even the house seems strange. It is being rented out for the summer (where is the great-grandmother?! Where is Tolly?!) and the quirky scientist and her friend who have taken the place invite a few children to come live with them.

The children – a niece, Ida, and two “displaced” boys boys, Oskar and Ping – are decent sorts, and they spend the summer on the river, exploring in a canoe, having small supernatural adventures, discovering winged horses and meeting giants, etc.

Not a bad book by any means, but I didn’t like it as much. It lacked the lovely, shivery mood that the other books had, and it seemed…sillier. The mysterious events seemed fairy tailish and forced. Green Knowe was reduced to just an old house.

I was disappointed with this one, and hope that the next book – A Stranger at Green Knowe – will bring back the Green Knowe that I love.

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