There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads.
When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely curious new owner in Henry Silver, everything changes. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias is forced to reckon with his troubled past—both the green magic of the woods, and the dark things that rest in its heart.
This is less a review and more a ‘let me tell you all why I loved this book so much it was so beautiful and everyone should read it seriously go and get a copy of it you won’t regret it’ post.
First of all, this is a very short book, only one hundred pages, so it’s a quick read. Despite that, I took my time with this one because I was savoring every moment of the storytelling. The prose is fantastic and serves the story well in setting the tone and earthy atmosphere. There’s also a bit of a mysteriousness to the story which I found compelling, as the background is slowly revealed to us, the reader.
One of the reasons I loved this one so much is because of the POV that Tesh chose to go with. A lot of times when you have these sorts of stories where humans are encountering the fae (or others) they’re set from the human’s POV. I think that’s because it’s easy for us, the reader, to learn about this mysterious other world through the human’s POV, someone else who is also discovering these things for the first time (in a lot of these types of tales). But here we have something different. Tesh tells the story of the fae, the green man of the wood, from the fae’s POV. This gives us an entirely new angle on a somewhat familiar tale. It also works really well as far as the way the back story is revealed. Our main character already knows everything, of course, but he’s being very mum about things for reasons.
When I say ‘somewhat familiar’ I mean stories dealing with the fae (fair folk, fairy, etc) in general. What Tesh has crafted here feels wholly original. I think, again, part of that is because of the POV, it changes things up a bit in what I’m used to reading. There are also some unexpected elements (at least for me), a twist or turn that I didn’t really see the story taking–especially considering it’s also a bit of a romance. Wait, no, that didn’t happen….did it? But it did. I love when a story doesn’t go down the most well trod path.
The characters, as always, are the most important thing for me in any story. Here they’re a delight. I loved our main POV character. He’s set in his ways, gruff, and maybe just a bit lonely. So when a stranger, introducing himself as Henry Silver the new lord of the manor, comes knocking at his door he’s both cautious and maybe a bit intrigued. Henry is like a breath of fresh air–excited to and utterly charming. Later we meet Henry’s mother and she turned out to be one of my favorite characters! I want to know all about her other adventures, quite honestly.
In short, I loved this book because:
- Prose is fantastic
- Characters were easy to empathize with
- The way the story reveals itself over time
- Magical and moody atmosphere
- Great emotional content
I think you might love this one too. If you enjoy any of the above in the stories you read then you should definitely consider giving this one a try. 5/5 stars.