REVIEW: The Green Man by Michael Bedard

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: The Green Man by Michael BedardThe Green Man by Michael Bedard
Published: Tundra Books (2012), eARC, 304pg
Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction

Teenaged O – never call her Ophelia – is about to spend the summer with her aunt Emily. Emily is a poet and the owner of an antiquarian book store, The Green Man. A proud, independent woman, Emily's been made frail by a heart attack. O will be a help to her. Just how crucial that help will be unfolds as O first tackles Emily's badly neglected home, then the chaotic shop. But soon she discovers that there are mysteries and long-buried dark forces that she cannot sweep away, though they threaten to awaken once more. At once an exploration of poetry, a story of family relationships, and an intriguing mystery, The Green Man is Michael Bedard at his finest.

I hadn’t realized that The Green Man is a sequel to another book when I requested it at NetGalley, but in retrospect I don’t think it matters all that much. Apparently it’s got some of the same characters from the first book in it, but the POV is mostly from a new character, so I didn’t feel too annoyed that I read the sequel first.

What I liked best about The Green Man is that it’s mainly about the importance of poetry, of poets, and how poets use poetry to navigate the world around them. There’s a secondary plotline (which is where the magical realism shows up), and to be honest that part of it felt less well-integrated into the story than everything else did. It builds up into a big– and important– thing by the end of the book, but the end is SO different from the beginning that it’s like they belong to two different books.

I loved the first plotline. I like poetry, and I like bookstores, and I like weird people who spend their whole lives ensconced in poetry and books. The second plotline was neat, but I was less enamored of it than I was of the other. I suppose that would be where reading the first book would have come in handy: I’d have been more invested in the fantasy part of the plot more and I’d probably have liked the book more overall, too.

Still, despite the problems I had with the merging of the plotlines, The Green Man is an enjoyable book with a lot of stuff I adore reading about. It’s got poetry! And romance! And summers spent in bookstores! Small town stuff where the small town is a good thing rather than a bad thing! Magical realism thingies! And a protagonist who’s smart and likable and just a little bit of a worrywart.

Read: January 2-3, 2012

4 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Green Man by Michael Bedard”

  1. This was one of my waiting on Wednesday books last year…I didn’t know it was a second book either, and have now put the first one on hold at the library. Thanks!

    1. No prob! I’m going to see if I can get the first book from a library, too. Once I get my new library card, of course. 😀

  2. The first book looks really neat too! Pleasingly spooky. I am in the mood for that type of book, and it even has a magic show! And then if I like it I can hit up this one, because I too enjoy weird people who love poetry. 😀

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