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The River at Green Knowe Audio CD – Unabridged, Nov 1 2005

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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 4 pages
  • Publisher: Hushion House; Unabridged edition (Nov. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593160623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593160623
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 15.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,475,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Green Knowe still exerts its magic for the right children - but to those who encountered it in The Children of Green Knowe and Treasure of Green Knowe it comes as something of a frustration not to find Tolly and his great-grandmother and summer adventures of three sensitive youngsters, Ida, whose aunt had rented the house for the summer, and two DP children, a Polish lad and a boy from the Orient, take the reader into the magic of the waiting river, the islands, the ancient manor house, the old hermit, who had once been a bus driver, and the good natured giant who was bored with hiding out and wanted to be a clown in a circus. Ida's aunt was an anthropologist- and giants of the past were her passion, but when the children kept their dreams to themselves. Fantasy and realism in exotic blend in a book which may prove a bit too sophisticatedly English for some American children. (Kirkus Reviews)

"Outstanding and imaginative." (School Library Journal) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

LUCY MARIA BOSTON (1892-1990) purchased a ramshackle manor house near Cambridge, England, in 1935, which over a period of two years she lovingly restored. That house inspired her, at the age of sixty-two, to take pen in hand to create the beloved Green Knowe series.

Peter Boston is a published author and an illustrator of children's books. Some of the published credits of Peter Boston include The Stones of Green Knowe, Strategic Organizational Diagnosis and Design: The Dynamics of Fit (Information and Organization Design Series), Treasure of Green Knowe. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xb57aef9c) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaa889cd8) out of 5 stars "A Promise to a Displaced Person is the Most Solemn of All" Feb. 8 2004
By R. M. Fisher - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the third book in Lucy Boston's "Green Knowe" series, readers who are moving through the books chronologically may be a bit surprised at the extreme change of formula in the story that dictated the two previous books. There is no Tolly or Grandmother Oldknow and their discoveries of past inhabitants of the house, but rather two elderly women who rent the house and send away for a niece and two children from "the Society for the Promotion of Summer Holidays for Displaced Children."
Thus "The River at Green Knowe" is definitely moving in a different direction from the previous books, and continues with Boston's decision to set most of the scenes upon the river, as Ida, Oskar and Ping explore the flooded areas and the islands around the ancient house, often meeting strangers who are just as Displaced as they are. The adventures that they experience are dreamy and mysterious within the shrouded waters and woodlands, and one is never quite sure whether they are dreams or reality save that all three of them experience them.
These exertions are also different from Tolly's adventures in that they are more magical experiences rather than ghostly, and therefore need readers to suspend disbelief a little further. The fact that the children's experiences are all quite separated from each other and episodic also makes them a tad uneven. Some are based more on naturalistic themes, such as an overgrown river-side house, witnessing a pagan-festival in a time-travelling moment and meeting a busman who wandered into the woods and decided to remain there always, whilst others are of the extraordinary type: an island of winged horses, a giant who doesn't know what laughter is but eventually joins the circus, and one of the children shrinking down to mouse-size. Needless to say, Boston's style is suited best to the more natural occurences that just border on the supernatural. To me at least, the others come across as a little *too* odd.
However, there is a theme that hasn't been addressed before that pushes through: that of adult disbelief in Green Knowe's magic. Beforehand, all strange events were simply taken in their stride by Tolly and Grandmother Oldknow, whilst here Boston explores the idea of grown-ups not being able to see what the children can. Green Knowe is contrasted against the reality of adult ignorance, whether it be through a frightened, confused message in a bottle, or through Boston's first two comic figures Maud Biggin and Sybilla Bun, who cannot see the truth in front of them even when they've been searching for it.
It all goes hand in hand with Oskar's comments on thoughts being real, and Terak telling the children he is so big that no one sees him. Boston weaves these ideas through her narrative with ease, and as always her poetic language is utterly beautiful. I don't think Oskar or Ida were quite as well defined as Tolly or as Ping becomes in later books, which is a shame as they had the potential to be fascinating - and they don't appear in any later books. However, keep a look out for a dark figure examining the the house that *does*.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb566c120) out of 5 stars Strange adventures in the English countryside Sept. 23 2003
By Chrijeff - Published on
Format: Paperback
In this third of the Green Knowe series, Tolly Oldknow and his great-grandmother have presumably gone off to Cornwall for the summer (as they talked of doing after Tolly found the lost Oldknow jewels in the previous volume), and the mysterious old house has been rented out to Dr. Maud Biggin, a lady archaeologist, and her friend, Miss Sybilla Bun, who loves nothing better than to cook for people. Seeing the large amount of space the property offers, Dr. Maud invites her great-niece Ida to visit and writes a charitable society to send two displaced children to keep her company; the chosen pair are Oskar, a Hungarian whose father was shot by the Russians, and Ping, a Chinese refugee. The children immediately make up their minds to explore the river that flows past the house, and in doing so they meet with some very strange adventures. There's an almost dreamlike quality to many of the things that befall them--the discovery of a vine-draped Georgian ruin and of a former London busman who has become a hermit, a nighttime romp with a herd of winged horses, Oskar's temporary shrinkage to field-mouse size, an encounter with a live adolescent giant and his mother, a brief journey to the distant past to view a pagan ritual--and it's not at all clear how much of it really happens and how much they only imagine. None of the Oldknow ghosts makes an appearance, which is unfortunate, but perhaps inevitable, since the children aren't from "their family." This is a particularly good book for dreamy, imaginitive children who have a knack for suspending disbelief, though not my own favorite in the series.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb566c174) out of 5 stars Third in the Green Knowe series Jan. 16 2001
By Readersguide - Published on
Format: Paperback
In this, the third of the Green Knowe series, Tolly and his grandmother are away (presumably in Cornwall). Two women have rented the house for the summer and ask three children to stay. Ida is the niece of one of the women, Ping and Oskar are refugees. The children are turned loose on the river, where they have many fine and imaginative adventures. These books are all quite wonderful. This one is actually in print. The others can be found at public libraries. Don't miss them. the next in the series is a Stranger at Green Knowe, also in print.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb566c564) out of 5 stars A Departure from the Rest April 3 2010
By Cris K.A. McCarty - Published on
Format: Paperback
The third of the Green Knowe books is a huge departure from the first two as none of the familiar characters are present. The house is being rented out by two older women, one of whom lives to cook and the other is a scholar trying to prove the existence of prehistoric giants. Dr Biggin's niece, Ida, is invited to come for the summer along with the other children, chosen randomly whose only qualifications are that they know how to swim.

The children, completely unsupervised and expected to make themselves scarce, spend their summer on the river, exploring all of the small tributaries and having magical, fantastic adventures.

The writing is, as always, a bit dense at times and the sentences wander like the river itself. But the heart of the story is timeless and magical and worth reading.

For the first time, the grownups in the book don't believe in magic and that may also come as a bit of a shock after the first two installments.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb566c72c) out of 5 stars Messing About on the River July 31 2011
By Paul Camp - Published on
Format: Paperback
A friend of mine, the principal of a school where I once taught, used to speak highly of Lucy M. Boston's Green Knowe books. I sometimes looked for them in bookstores, but I had no luck. I could never find them on the web. Every so often, I would see brief references to the series in books on children's literature. They remained elusive to me. But recently, I stumbled across _The River at Green Knowe_ (1959) in the Chattanooga Public Library. I immediately checked it out.

Two maiden women on the upper side of middle aged rent the Green Knowe mansion on an island in an English river. They decide (for reasons not terribly clear) to take in a niece and two displaced boys for the summer. The women have a simple philosophy about raising children. They are like cats: "You only needed to feed them and turn them out" (13). They will take care of themselves. This, of course, makes it possible for Ida, Oskar, and Ping to have all sorts of adventures in a canoe on the river. Here they are early in the morning, before others are astir:

[The world] felt tilted, with the moon in the unexpected part of the sky, because it was setting, and the growing light of dawn was farther east than she had ever seen it before, as if the points of the compass had been displaced. The bullocks were asleep, so were the swans. No smoke came from any cottage chimney, no birds moved. A vivid red fox cantered across the field with a moorhen in his mouth. Only the water was loud. (37)

Later, there is an encounter of a more fantastical nature, with some winged horses on an island:

After this [the horses] accepted all the children. They let themselves be handled. They nibbled themselves under their wings. They had immensely long manes and tails and their ears twitched like mouse whiskers. As the darkness shifted into less than dark, the chilren saw each other's faces and hardly recognized them. Ping stood leaning his head against the leading horse's neck and its black mane fell around his face so that he looked like a witch girl, his teeth showing white as he smiled with great joy. Oskar looked like a lean prophet absolutely believing the impossible. He was nearly crying. Ida's grey eyes were black because they were all pupil. She was curled up between the legs of a winged foal that lay on the ground. (78-79)

A theme running through the novel is that of _displacement_. The children are displaced. But they also encounter other creatures and people on the river who are displaced: a baby cygnet, an owl in an ivy-covered manse, a hermit who has left the city to live in a riverside treehouse, the winged horses, and a family of giants. Time and space are also displaced on the river so that events have an almost dreamlike quality.

Another theme is the gap between a child's-eye view of the world (which is open to magic) and an adult's-eye view of the world (which is locked into the mundane). We are told of Dr. Maud that "if not reading, her attention was on the ground as if expecting that something very interesting might catch her eye there" (1). And even so, she almost misses a great discovery on the ground. Terak the giant tells the children that few people notice him: "I sometimes wonder whether people aren't going blind, or perhaps can't see anything bigger than themselves, like ants. I see them rushing about, but they never seem to look higher than their own shoulders" (116).

There is a conclusion at a circus that ought to be magical. It is, alas, mundane. But the magic on the river that lasts through most of the novel more than makes up for it. _The River at Green Knowe_ is, I believe, the third book in the series. Ordinarily, I would give a quick comparison with other Green Knowe books. But at present, I haven't read any other books in the series. You may be sure that I will be reviewing them as fast as I can find them.