The Greengage Summer
"On and off, all that hot French August, we made ourselves ill from eating the greengages..."
The faded elegance of Les Oeillets, with its bullet-scarred staircase and serene garden bounded by high walls; Elliot, the charming Englishman who became the children's guardian while their mother lay ill in hospital; sophisticated Mademoiselle Zizi, hotel patronne, and Eliot's devoted lover; 16 year old Joss, the oldest Grey girl, suddenly, achingly beautiful.
And the Marne river flowing silent and slow beyond them all...
They would merge together in a gold-green summer of discovery, until the fruit rotted on the trees and cold seeped into their bones...
"An exciting tale, this novel has both charm and atmosphere, and Miss Godden recaptures with an easy unsentimental naturalness the unfocused vision of adolescence."
"One of the finest of living English novelists."
The Greengage Summer is Rumer Godden's tense, evocative portrait of love and deceit in the Champagne country of the Marne - which became a memorable film starring Kenneth More, Jane Asher and Susannah York. And in a new preface for this edition she explains how it came to be written.