Book reviews

The Last of the Greenwoods is by English writer Clare Morrall. I have previously read The Roundabout Man by this author and although I thought that story promised more than it delivered, the idea was clever and stayed in my head.

The Last of the Greenwoods also had an intriguing plot.

The Last of the Greenwoods follows several main characters whose lives become entwined. The first story is that of Zohra, a young woman who worked as a postal deliverer in Bromsgrove. Zohra had been a brilliant student but wasn’t living up to her potential because of a traumatic event that affected her as a teenager.

When Zohra delivered a letter addressed to Nick and Johnny Greenwood, two elderly brothers who lived in two old train carriages hidden in a paddock just out of Bromsgrove, the character’s lives became connected.

The letter was purportedly from their sister Debs, who Nick and Johnny believed had been murdered over fifty years ago. Debs’ letter told them she has been in Canada since she disappeared and that she was planning to visit them. The brothers lives were thrown into turmoil.

Debs arrived and although the brothers welcomed her, they were suspicious that she was in fact Debs’ best friend Bev, who had disappeared at the same time as Debs did.

Meanwhile, Zohra’s friend Crispin, who was restoring an old railway line was keen to buy Nick and Johnny’s home to use the train carriages with a steam engine he had bought to use on the railway line.

I loved reading about how the train carriages had been turned into a home and about Crispin’s group of train buffs, who worked to restore the line and the engine.

The story eventually foisted each of the characters into situations that caused them to confront and overcome their problems. The story could have been pruned to remove a few characters and events which I thought were unnecessary and padded but on the whole I enjoyed The Last of the Greenwoods, which had a feel-good feel to it.

Comments on: "The Last of the Greenwoods by Clare Morrall" (8)

  1. As with The Roundabout Man, I have a feeling that this is loosely based on a real situation. I’m intrigued enough to go googling….

  2. You might get the urge to live in a train carriage too! Although the real story might have been the long-missing sister turning up again.

  3. I looked and found nothing! But I have learned that Morrall was a Booker shortlister and has umpteen books out. I am behind the curve on her work!

  4. I think you would enjoy this author. The two books I’ve read have characters who live in interesting (fantasy?) homes, squatting in the middle of an enormous roundabout and living in converted railway carriages. Both sound fun and bohemian, especially to a generation who grew up loving Enid Blyton’s stories, but in real life (in the stories) the homes have their faults. I can’t wait to get another and find out if those characters live somewhere exciting too.

  5. I think you’re right; I like the themes within her books from what I’ve learned. I must seek her out!

  6. I like the sound of this and the idea of living in a railway carriage!

  7. I’ll watch out for your reviews 😀

  8. I do too! I’m also a sucker for the idea of living in strange places and eat up true stories about people living in tiny houses, caravans, converted planes, house boats… the list goes on 😀

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