Lucy Boston’s stories abut the house at Green Knowe are based on her own home, The Manor, at Hemingord Grey in Cambridgeshire. Her daughter-in-law, Diana Boston , still lives at the house and you can visit by making an appointment. It is full of artefacts that refer to the stories.
This first story may be the most mysterious. Are there really ghosts of the children that used to live there or are they just in Tolly’s imagination, developed by his grandmother’s insistence that the children really exist? However she is quite careful in the way that she talks about them. The reader may still wonder whether they are really there.
Tolly has a difficult life. His father is dismissive and his relationship with his stepmother is very difficult. He travels alone to Green Knowe and arrives when there are floods.
His grandmother offers some comfort. They establish a good relationship. He also cultivates a good relationship with the manservant Boggis. There are cosy evenings by the fire where his grandmother tells him stories.
The ghosts are reasonably gentle, but they can tease and the stories his grandmother tells are full of mystery. He has a frightening encounter with Green Noah, a topiary figure about which there is a lot of superstition.
The text is 123 pages long and blocked in a close adult font. Peter Boston, Lucy Boston’s son, has illustrated the book.