The Greengage Summer, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The faded elegance of Les Oeillets, with its bullet-scarred staircase and serene garden bounded by high walls; Eliot, the charming Englishman who became the children's guardian while their mother lay ill in hospital; sophisticated Mademoiselle Zizi, hotel patronne, and Eliot's devoted lover; 16 year old Joss, the oldest Grey girl, suddenly, achingly beautiful. And the Marne river flowing silent and slow beyond them all ...They would merge together in a gold-green summer of discovery, until the fruit rotted on the trees and cold seeped into their bones ...The Greengage Summer is Rumer Godden's tense, evocative portrait of love and deceit in the Champagne country of the Marne - which became a memorable film starring Kenneth More and Susannah York. 'An exciting tale, this novel has both charm and atmosphere, and Miss Godden recaptures with an easy unsentimental naturalness the unfocused vision of adolescence' Evening Standard 'One of the finest English novelists' Orville Prescott




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No wonder I had fond memories of reading this novel when I was young. It has so beautifully described the atmosphere of a French residence and garden . Fascinating to read Rumer Godden's intro to this 2013 edition of her novel published in 1958. So much of it was autobiographical!