Cover of The Last of the Greenwoods

I find I’m not clicking “read” on my books on Goodreads because I want to say things about them – my future self really loves it when she can remember what she actually thought of books – but my current self is really, really bad at writing things down. So anyway, I promise to try to do better. Maybe.

I discovered Clare Morrall when she was on the Booker shortlist a few years back (a quick search tells me my definition of “a few” is actually 16 and this realisation makes me realise that there are other places where I use the term “a few” where other people might use “quite a lot”). I found this one as a poor quality paperback hiding in among the mostly junk books in The Works. That’s how it goes I guess, but I liked the story as much as I liked all her other books I’ve read.

The titular Greenwoods are a pair of rather dysfunctional brothers who live in adjoining railway carriages but haven’t spoken for years, another major character is their postwoman who is also involved in restoring a steam railway. I read the book long enough ago that I don’t want to start summarising the story in case I give away too much of the plot that isn’t obvious in the beginning. I thought the characters were brilliantly drawn and it all felt perfectly English, in a very twenty-first century way. And there’s a murder mystery of sorts here too (but it’s not a mystery book). It just had so many elements that I liked and combined them in an esoteric but realistic manner.

I need to see whether I’ve missed any other of Clare Morrall’s books, or maybe whether there are any other gems lurking in The Works.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.