Eve Green

( 5 )

Overview

Winner of the 2004 Whitbread First Novel Award.

"Susan Fletcher's first novel . . . is one of those lyrical books about childhood in which the physical details—the sights, the smells—take on a vividness that's entrancing."—Polly Shulman, New York Times Book Review "Readers who like to plumb the depths of loss and its counterpart—the joy of living—would do well to pick up [Eve Green]."—Jessica Treadway, Chicago Tribune

After her young mother's ...

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Overview

Winner of the 2004 Whitbread First Novel Award.

"Susan Fletcher's first novel . . . is one of those lyrical books about childhood in which the physical details—the sights, the smells—take on a vividness that's entrancing."—Polly Shulman, New York Times Book Review "Readers who like to plumb the depths of loss and its counterpart—the joy of living—would do well to pick up [Eve Green]."—Jessica Treadway, Chicago Tribune

After her young mother's sudden death eight-year-old Eve is sent to live with her grandparents in rural Wales. In this unfamiliar world, she is told stories about her relatives but is forbidden to ask about her father, an Irish thief who abandoned her mother. When an older girl in town disappears, Eve is drawn into the longstanding secrets and suspicions of her town. A rare page turner, Eve Green is a dramatic story about a grievous error of judgment.

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Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Berg
“Full of grace, wisdom, lyricism, and heart.”
Publishers Weekly
A pregnant young woman reflects on her childhood in a tight-knit Wales community in Fletcher's debut, a novel rich-sometimes too rich-in melancholic, misty atmosphere and poetic poignancy. When Eve's mother dies unexpectedly, the seven-year-old is sent to live with her loving, hard-working grandparents. She devours stories about distant relatives, but is forbidden to ask about her father, an Irish thief who deserted her mother; her only knowledge of him comes from her mother's heartfelt diaries ("In the rain K's hair looks like feathers"). Fletcher is a gifted writer-her turn on loss ("[it] billowed out before me, snapping at itself and pulling me with it, streaming out over the sheep hills like a funeral flag...") is especially lovely-but the novel often feels overwrought. When a local girl, Rosie, disappears, Eve is dragged into the town's snarled relations in familiar ways, with familiar characters. (Fletcher's debt to Harper Lee includes Billy Macklin, a deformed man ostracized after a head injury that supposedly made him insane, and who is revealed to be gentle and kind.) The dreamy emotionality of the prose takes away from the book's more subtle and singular scenes, such as the awkward, bewitching meeting of Eve and Rosie, child rivals for an older man's love. Such moments-stark, troubling and unresolved-are too rare in a novel about devotion and guilt. Agent, Vivienne Schuster. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Eve Green never knew her father and, as a child, faced the horror of her mother's suicide. Now 29, she looks back at her first year of bereavement. She was eight, in their flat in Birmingham, when her mother climbed into a warm bath and took too many pills. The child's grandparents provided a loving home on their farm in a remote Welsh valley, but some villagers who knew her Irish father saw her as a troublemaker like him. Daniel, their farmhand, became a close friend along with Billy, a recluse with a badly burned face. She rebelled against her grandparents' rules, but knew that they loved her and finally reciprocated. Seeking revenge against a villager who constantly denigrated her, Eve tried to implicate him in the abduction of a schoolmate and was humiliated when her lie was exposed. Eventually, she learned her father's identity, and she and Daniel now await the birth of their baby. Though the flashbacks are occasionally confusing, any teen who has lost a parent can identify with the protagonist's feelings of grief, abandonment, fear, anger, and rebellion.-Molly Connally, Chantilly Regional Library, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393327984
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/19/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,448,651
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Fletcher is the author of Eve Green, which won the Whitbread Award for First Novel, Oystercatchers, and The Highland Witch. She lives in the United Kingdom.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2008

    In contrast to the other reviewers....

    I found the dreamy prose of Eve Green to be highly satisfying. Fletcher has Eve narrate just as anyone reminiscing might, holding a conversation with the reader: she discusses the matters of today, and then flows back to her memories that have shaped who she is today. In fact, I found that often the back- and-forth narration marked a consistent contrast that maintained order in the book: each memory provoked a present-day thought, which led naturally to another memory. I was certainly never lost, and the book has held my attention for multiple rereadings. I also very much enjoyed Fletcher's close attention to detail, which makes her prose vivid, delightful and beautiful to read, and perfectly fits the child's-eye view that Eve shares with us as she recounts the events that shaped her first year in Wales. Overall, the book's themes, while not particularly unique, are expressed in a wonderfully new way, and Fletcher's ability to uncover for her reader multiple stories (Eve's current life with Daniel and an upcoming baby, Eve's childhood in Wales, and the story of Eve's parents) is remarkable. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    I am a very avid reader of many years and I can wholeheartly agree with the two reviewers that left a negative rating. It was almost impossible to figure out the theme of this book because she jumped from one age - eight years old to suddenly standing in a graveyard as an adult expecting a child and then flip flops back to being a child again at her grandparents farm. It moves forward and then back tracks. After 62 pages of this torture, I removed my bookmark and said enough. I have no patience with authors that lack consistency in their narration. I will not attempt any other future books by this author. Eve Green was her first novel and should be her last unless she can change her narrative to flow more in keeping with the reader's interest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2006

    a good read

    I expected more from this novel after hearing so much about it. It is very poetic but I hated the way the author flip-flopped in her narration.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2005

    Lovely

    I loved this book! The writing is lyrical and the story very moving. I look forward to Ms. Fletchers next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2004

    Hopeful but Disappointed

    This definitely seemed like my kind of book. A small town, secrets, romance, an eerie mystery but none of these stood a chance with the authors dream-like way of writting. It switches between present and several different pasts with little order. It has this vague and illusive feel to it when what I really wanted was to be told this story in a more plain and direct way. It is like very flowery stream of conscience prose.

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