A Stranger at Green Knowe: Gorillas brought to life

A Stranger at Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston

The fourth book in L. M. Boston's Green Knowe series is a step away from the usual formula. Tolly is absent once more, though luckily Mrs Oldknow has returned in time to receive a letter from young Ida, (from The River at Green Knowe) asking her if her friend Ping might stay with her in her mysterious, magically inclined house. Missing Tolly, Mrs Oldknow agrees, and soon Ping, a young Burmese orphan and refugee, is happily exploring Toseland Thicket at Green Knowe.

But the story begins long before this, in the Congo, where a young gorilla is separated from his family and captured in order to make the long journey from his tropical home to the concrete realm of the Zoo. In one of the most evocative descriptions of gorilla life and environments I've ever read, Boston sets the scene for the story to come with descriptions such as: "even at noon the... Read More