The Green Book

The Green Book, by Jill Patton Walsh

How the world ends: Not entirely clear; all we really know is that there’s a Disaster, which has something to do with the earth getting colder and bluer; and that our characters escape two days before the world falls into radio silence

Told from the point of view of a band of survivors who take one of the last, oldest spaceships available off the planet. They make their way to a new world with strange symmetrical boulders and crystalline plants that shatter in their hands; they build homes of translucent wood lit by the green glow of oils from local jellyfish.

But the planet may not be able to support them–and the ship that took them there is unable to take them any farther.

Anyone who tries to read this as science fiction will probably hate it; the worldbuilding makes little sense, and if that’s what you read for, you’ll be disappointed. The book wants to be read as a sort of fable, instead.

As such, this was a lovely, lovely book. It reminded me of Alexander Key’s The Forgotten Door, though I’m not entirely sure why. Both have the same sort of haunting feel; and also, maybe, the same innocence; the same knowing children; the same muted knowledge of the harshness of the world beyond that innocence.

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