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Lucy M. Boston

Lucy Boston wrote several stand-alone children’s novels which are out of print.


The Children of Green Knowe: A hidden gem in children’s literature

The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston

Reading this book was a strange experience for me, as even though I had never read it before in my life, it evoked a strange sense of familiarity that only the very best books, movies and music are able to achieve. Usually these are reserved for the ones that are experienced in childhood and carried through into adulthood, but every now and then one arrives that touch one on so deep a level that one feels they've always known them. The Children of Green Knowe is one such book.

This is the perfect book for anyone who has a love of old homes, and especially for those who have very little chances of exploring them, much less living in them. Since Lucy Boston wrote the Green Knowe series based on her own house and garden that was built nearly nine hundred years ago, the descriptions of the house and grounds are painstakingly created and thus utter... Read More

Treasure of Green Knowe: Superior to its predecessor

Treasure of Green Knowe by Lucy Boston

Tolly has returned to Green Knowe and his Grandmother full of excitement at being there once more, but an unhappy surprise lies in wait for him: the portrait of the children Toby, Alexander and Linnet is missing from the wall. It would seem a small loss but for the fact that its absence means that the children's spirits are also not present in the house.

Grandmother Oldknow explains the painting's loss due to poor finances, though soon sparks hope in Tolly for its return due to the tale of the missing treasure of Green Knowe (which he vows to find), and stories of another family ancestor: Susan Oldknow. Born to a vain mother, a kind but absent father, a spoilt older brother Sefton, and an overly pious grandmother, Susan knows her blindness is a terrible blow to the family's pride: "I can't take her into society, she'll never be married, and I'll have her always!" h... Read More

The River at Green Knowe: A different direction

The River at Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston

As the third book in Lucy Boston's Green Knowe series, readers who are moving through the books chronologically may be a bit surprised at the extreme change of formula in the story that dictated the two previous books. There is no Tolly or Grandmother Oldknow and their discoveries of past inhabitants of the house, but rather two elderly women who rent the house and send away for a niece and two children from "the Society for the Promotion of Summer Holidays for Displaced Children."

Thus The River at Green Knowe is definitely moving in a different direction from the previous books, and continues with Boston's decision to set most of the scenes upon the river, as Ida, Oskar and Ping explore the flooded areas and the islands around the ancient house, often meeting strangers who are jus... Read More

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

An Enemy at Green Knowe: One of my favourites

An Enemy at Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston

The fifth book in Lucy Boston's Green Knowe series finally brings together our two main protagonists: the house's blood relative Tolly and the Chinese refugee Ping, both of whom have featured in the previous books, but never together. Unfortunately we do not see their meeting, but instead join the story half-way through the summer, by which time the two are already best friends.

As always, the mysterious Green Knowe is filled with ancient and semi-magical artifacts (all of which are actually real relics that belong in the author's home on which she based the books) and Grandmother Oldknow tells the children stories concerning the past inhabitants of the house. Now for the first time, she tells them a story that holds a more sinister edge to it. In the 17th century a young boy had a tutor that was said to dabb... Read More

The Stones of Green Knowe: Very sad to see its end

The Stones of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston

The Stones of Green Knowe completes Boston's series, and aptly takes us right back to the beginning of Green Knowe: to its original construction in 1120 A.D. The very first of the Green Knowe children is Roger, the grandson of a Norman Earl, who is excited beyond words at the building of a two-storied stone house, complete with windows. Roger's days are spent watching the flocks and exploring the construction site, with as much attention given to historical accuracy and detail as one would expect from Rosemary Sutcliffe. Like all the previous young protagonists, he is surrounded both by semi-mysterious characters sympathetic to his situation (such as the Viking Olaf Olafson, who gifts him with a magical knife, and another kindly grandmother reminiscent of the not-yet-born Grandmother Oldknow), and characters that make his life a little bit more diffic... Read More