The Last of the Greenwoods
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In a field outside Bromsgrove, two elderly brothers live in adjoining railway carriages. No one visits and they never speak to each other. Until the day Zohra Dasgupta, a young postwoman, delivers an extraordinary letter – from a woman claiming to be the sister they thought had been murdered fifty years earlier.
So begins an intriguing tale: is this woman an impostor? If she’s not, what did happen all those years ago? And why are the brothers so reclusive? Then there’s Zohra. Once a bright, outgoing teenager, the only friend she will see from her schooldays is laidback Crispin, who has roped her in to the restoration of an old railway line on his father’s land. For which, as it happens, they need some carriages . . .
With wry humour and a cast of characters as delightful as they are damaged, Clare Morrall tells an engrossing story of past misdeeds and present reckoning, which shows that for all the wrong turnings we might take, sometimes it is possible to retrace our steps.
'Ever since her 2003 Booker-shortlisted debut, Astonishing Splashes of Colour, Morrall has consistently turned out distinctive and sympathetic tales of quirky outsiders and underdogs. This is no exception... her compassion and heart-warming message - life is for the living - shine through.' Daily Mail
'Morrall's writing is tender and subtle; each character is finely drawn, with their flaws and tics as vivid as their courage and kindness. At no point is one drawn into a false sense of empathy; rather, we meander through the story, becoming increasingly involved. As the plot steams towards its triumphant conclusion, the strands unite into a story that is set in time and also timeless - about recognition, family and what it means to belong. ' Literary Review