I’ve read Silver in the Wood twice now and absolutely adore it! Being a novella, it’s small enough to read in one sitting but that doesn’t mean the reader is shortchanged: the language is beautiful, the characters (be they human or other) believable and like the rings of a tree bark, the story consists of layers upon layers.
The story itself is very ‘green man’ but doesn’t need the reader to have a knowledge of folk lore or mythology to become immersed. The descriptions are lush and vivid; you can smell the tree rot, safe in the knowledge that as Tobias Finch says, it feeds back into the cycle of growth. You can stand there and hear the susurration of the leaves and see the dapples of sunlight and take delight in the woodland.
The story is told in a gentle, fluid and meandering way that wends its path through the narrative. Little hints and clues, and foreshadowing are dropped in, but with a light touch, so as to pass almost unnoticed.
It’s a M/M queer book too, with a romance between Finch and the eponymous Silver. It’s subtle and gentle and adds to the feeling of things ‘being the way they should be’.
My review of the second part of The Greenhollow Duology, Drowned Country, will be available on the blog this Thursday, 10th September 2020.
Book DetailsTitle: Silver in the Wood
Series: The Greenhollow Duology #1
Author: Emily Tesh
Publication Date: 18th June 2019
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.