Friday, June 3, 2016

Green Money by D. E. Stevenson

They say that Georgette Heyer is the queen of witty dialogue. If so, then D.E. Stevenson is the queen of friendly conversation. Even though Green Money is not my favorite Stevenson novel, I reveled in the affectionate, congenial, often blunt, banter of lifelong companions. It's my favorite kind of eavesdropping.

The time is 1939. George Ferrier is walking through the streets of London, imagining that all the life and beauty around him are in honor of his birthday.

He was twenty-five today, and it seemed to him that the sun was shining with peculiar brilliance on that account. The sun was shining for him, and the shops were displaying their most treasured wares for him, and the cars, crawling slowly down Bond Street, were winking at him with their glittering headlamps and wishing him many happy returns of the day. (p. 11)

Soon after this scene George falls headlong into an adventure which includes a crooked lawyer, a rich heiress, and the rescue of various damsels in distress. It is emphasized that George is not very brainy, but he more than makes up for with his great kindness and intuition into human character, (a little bit like John in the previously reviewed Rosemary Tree.)

This is not as cozy as the Miss Buncle or Mrs. Tim books because of light swearing and everybody smoking, but Stevenson's books are always beautifully written and chock-full of likeable, quirky characters. Take this passage about Mrs. Ferrier's car for example:

He turned into the main road and was off like a rocket. The old car seemed to respond to his urgency - it had never gone better - and for the first time in his life George felt there was something human and friendly about a car. It was not merely a mass of machinery and metal and wooden parts: it had a distinct personality and was actually responsive to his need. "Good old Granpa," whispered George. "You shall have the feed of our life if you get me there in time. I'll never laugh at you again. I'll polish your old brass nose till it shines like a beacon. I'll change your gear-box oil...." Encouraged by these promises, Granpa gave his best.... (p. 213)

This is a fun book that I would like to share. Just leave a comment about this giveaway on my Facebook page and a friend of mine who is heading to the States in a couple of weeks will mail it to you from there. Winner will be randomly chosen and will be announced in one week.

(Other Stevenson titles I've reviewed: Shoulder the Sky, Miss Buncle One, Two, and Three, Anna and Her Daughters.)

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