The Green Man by Michael Bedard

Michael Bedard

Publication Date:
April 10, 2012


Hardcover, 320 pages

CAD $21.99

An ARC was provided by Randomhouse Canada! Thank you!


Teenaged O – never call her Ophelia – is about to spend the summer with her aunt Emily. Emily is a poet and the owner of an antiquarian book store, The Green Man. A proud, independent woman, Emily’s been made frail by a heart attack. O will be a help to her. Just how crucial that help will be unfolds as O first tackles Emily’s badly neglected home, then the chaotic shop. But soon she discovers that there are mysteries and long-buried dark forces that she cannot sweep away, though they threaten to awaken once more. At once an exploration of poetry, a story of family relationships, and an intriguing mystery, The Green Man is Michael Bedard at his finest.

About the Author

Michael Bedard was born and raised in Toronto. His novels include Stained Glass, A Darker Magic, Painted Devil, and Redwork, which received the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year Award for Children. He has also written several acclaimed picture books, including The Clay Ladies, which received the Toronto IODE Book Award. His biography, William Blake: The Gates of Paradise and his picture book Emily attest to his interest in poets and poetry.


Ophelia who is also known as O is shipped to Caledon to stay with her aunt Emily, while her father goes off to work in Italy. During the summer, she finds her aunt to be a tad eccentric in her ways and thinks of her as mentally unstable, when she talks of literary authors presiding in her bookstore called The Green Man. She loves poetry and seems to be inspired at random times so she keeps a journal by her side.

Reading the brief but mysterious description, The Green Man promised a bigger premise than what it entailed. I was sadly mistaken. The book had wonderful fantasy elements thrown in, and evil presided with the magic show dreams that Emily had, but that was it. It felt flat, and uninspiring. Poetry isn’t something I enjoy. Maybe it’s my lack of understanding. You have to read between the lines between each poem, and I’d rather have information appear in its entirety. What I couldn’t understand was who was this magician, and why was he doing these cruel things? I couldn’t fathom why. Michael Bedard has a great writing style that any reader is quick to devour. I just wish there was a meaning behind the entire thing.

This was a sequel to a previous novel, and I felt like I was missing something. Maybe if I picked up the first novel, my questions would be answered.

Rating 3/5


“I see. So if you write you go crazy. If you don’t write, you go crazy. Wonderful.”—O (6)

Giselle San Miguel is a freelance web designer who has a voracious appetite for reading and manages her own book blog at She also enjoys writing, design, movies, and photography.