Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Midwinter



Back on Net Galley because I just don't have enough books to read?  Hardly.  It's because I have a terrible book addiction, plus I just got an iPad.  I must say reading ebooks is much more pleasurable on on iPad than on an iPod. The review that follows is for The Green Man by Michael Bedard.  It will be published in April of 2012.  I was intrigued by the title and the fact that it is about a book store.


In her 15th summer, O makes the trip to California to her Aunt Emily who owns a book store called The Green Man.  Like any 15-year-old girl, O is not thrilled to spend her summer in a small town with an aunt who writes poetry and has heart problems.  However, O soon finds herself falling in love with the dusty book store and the aunt who persuades O to write poetry.  The Green Man is more than just a book store - it is a home for ghosts of poets, a host to Tuesday poetry readings and Emily's heart and soul. Declining customers are not the only problems for the second hand book store.  Something evil seeks out Emily and waits to collect the debt she made over 40 years before.  Unless O can help her aunt, the evil from her past could destroy her and The Green Man.  While The Green Man is a companion book to his novel A Darker Magic, it stands alone.  The story is engaging and the characters likeable despite the fact that both are underdeveloped.  The rising action is slow and numerous characters are introduced with little or no storyline after the initial scene.  Most neglected in Bedard's writing is, by far, the setting of The Green Man.  References are made to the ghosts who live in the store, but there seems to be no reaction from O or Emily.  An image is created of a crowded and warm environment, but the author fails to draw the reader into the setting with the limited references to the cluttered and haunted space.  Instead, I felt as if I were standing outside, looking in the dirty windows wondering what treasures could be on the shelves.  The book was enjoyable and a pleasant read, but was not as compelling or as complex as it could have been.