Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Green Boy - Susan Cooper

I am continuing my quest to read as many of Penelope Lively's, Alan Garner's, Diana Wynne Jones' and Susan Cooper's books as possible, to accompany my reading of Charles Butler's Four British Fantasists: Place and Culture in the Children's Fantasies of Penelope Lively, Alan Garner, Diana Wynne Jones, and Susan Cooper.

With that in mind, I have just read Susan Cooper's Green Boy which, unusually for Cooper, isn't set in the British countryside. Long Pond Cay is in the Bahamas; it's a magical white-sand island which 12 year old Trey (who is a writer) and 7 year old Lou (who is a mute, but the doctors do not know why) love to visit in its loneliness. But then one day they learn that developers want to turn into Sapphire Island Resort. At the same time Lou and Trey get pulled into another world, which is noisy, polluted and overcrowded, "paved over" in fact. There a group known as the Underground hail little Lou not as a mute Bahamian boy but as the mythic hero Lugh, who was born to bring terrible destruction and renewal to their world, Pangaia. The two children find themselves carried between their world and that of Pangaia, and they must risk their lives not only to save the alien world, but also to stop the development of Long Pond Cay. Finally, in awesome climax, the forces of Myth and Nature explode together in an unstoppable way.

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