Children of Norwich know their City to be a fine one and exploration of our Cathedral is as important a part of our education as learning about Nelson. One of my many school trips there, I remember being entranced by a roof boss in the cloisters. Not your usual bible story but a fierce looking man with leaves growing out of his temples and snorting from his nose: he is a Green Man. So the title of this book acted as a magnet to me, I vaguely imagined a lavishly illustrated travel guide with a bit of history thrown in. Wrong. Not bad wrong, but not the book that I expected when I picked it up.
Torrential rain and subsequent floods in her Welsh border homeland prompted Nina Lyon to head to Kilpeck church to check out its Green Man. From there she makes the leap that it is time to restart the cult of the Green Man. No mystic hippyish wafting around for Nina, she wants the full blown sex cult and sets about recruiting members at her school gate. The other Mothers are not keen, apparently the reason why the Hay-on-Wye swingers club folded was because its members were too embarrassed when they bumped into each other in real life.
Along the way we get to meet assorted friends and family. None of people are given names just letters. I presume that these letters recognise themselves as do their acquaintances. Made up names would have pleased me more. Nomenclature aside UPROOTED provides a lively and interesting exploration of the origins of the Green Man and the philosophy that still make him attractive to many.
An interesting book and well worth a read. Now is anybody out there in the process of writing a lavishly illustrated, thought provoking travelogue about the Green Man? Because there is at least one customer out here.
DISCLAIMER: I was sent a review copy of Uprooted by NetGalley in return for an honest review.
UPROOTED: ON THE TRAIL OF THE GREEN MAN by Nina Lyon
Published by Faber and Faber
Paperback £15.99, Kindle £10.44