The Greengage Summer is Rumer Godden’s tense, evocative portrait of love and deceit in the Champagne region of provincial France – which became a memorable film starring Kenneth More and Susannah York.
The faded elegance of Hotel Les Oeillets, with its bullet-scarred staircase and serene garden bounded by high walls; Eliot, 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; sixteen-year-old Joss, 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 . . .