Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eve Green

On Wednesday, February 23 at 7 p.m. the Bookenders book group will meet at the library to discuss Eve Green by Susan Fletcher. Everyone is invited to attend.

Pregnant with her first child, Eve Green recalls her mother's death when she was eight years old and her struggle to make sense of her parents' mysterious romantic past. Eve is sent to live with her grandparents in rural Wales, where she finds comfort in friendships with Daniel, a quiet farmhand, and Billy, a disabled, reclusive friend of her mother's. When a ravishing local girl disappears, one of Eve's friends comes under suspicion. Eve will do everything she can to protect him, but at the risk of complicity in a matter she barely understands. This is a timeless and beautifully told story about family secrets and unresolved liaisons.

This debut novel is written with exquisite sensitivity, the chapters brimming with images of the Welsh countryside.

Fletcher perfectly captures Welsh country life with lyrical passages as moving as the story itself. Eve's tart, childish perceptions and the comfort of the natural world that feeds her soul create a wonderful portrait of a bereaved child searching for roots. Her incisive observations, a toussle of red curls and freckles, capacity for love, even her mistakes, make Eve a memorable character.

Like an artist painting so Susan Fletcher paints with words. The book is written with a great deal of feeling. The pages are rich with the description of the small details of everyday country life with its gossip, animosity and mysteries.

The description of the breathtaking beauty of the Welsh countryside in this book illustrates the author's love of it. She said, "I was keen to set the book in rural Wales. It is this wild, lonesome landscape that first led me to want to write."

Susan Fletcher was born in Birmingham, England in 1979. She grew up in Solihull, in the English West Midlands, and attended St. Martin's school from the age of 7 until she was 16, and then joined the 6th form at Solihull School. She studied for a B.A.degree in English at the University of York and then went touring for a year to Australia and New Zealand. When back in England she studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia where she received her M.A. and lived in Stratford-upon-Avon. She now lives in Warwickshire, England.

Her first novel, Eve Green (2004), tells the story of eight-year-old Evie, who is sent to a new life in rural Wales, where she discovers a family secret. Eve Green won the 2004 Whitbread First Novel Award and the 2005 Betty Trask Prize.

Her second novel, Oystercatchers, was published in 2007, and her third, Corrag, in 2010. Corrag was shortlisted for the 2010 John Llewellyn-Rhys Memorial Prize.

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