“He knew it the same way the woodsman knew it, because he knew trees: but he also knew it with the knowledge of the Wild Man of Greenhallow, who felt every slow green beat of the forest’s heart.”
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Tor.com
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 a slow burn of a story. I read one of the other reviewers describe this story as having its own music. It dances and sways to its own rhythm and prose. Much like the beat of the forest, you get the sense that there is a deep thrumming that exists from page to page. It adds a deep atmospheric quality to the narrative. The only issue is that it is a very specific type of story. It has an almost misty type quality to it that is like viewing a story through a keyhole.
Tesh wove a lovely and romantic but restrained love story around the green man myth. Instead of just a myth steeped in legend, Tesh humanizes the green man with backstory. Tesh explains how the green man experience time, yet tries to humanize himself and not get lost with the woods. And how he deals with dryads and his very fun cat, Pearl.
I don’t think that this type of storytelling appeals to the masses. But, if you enjoy fae type quality in storytelling you will enjoy this story. It is beautifully done.
“it was a damn good coat, even Tobias could tell that, the kind so perfectly tailored it required a servant to pour you into it and peel you out again—”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EMILY TESH grew up in London and studied Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by a Master’s degree in Humanities at the University of Chicago. She now lives in Hertfordshire.