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.