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Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
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Greenwitch (original 1974; edition 1974)

by Susan Cooper

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3,463601,542 (3.9)144
Member:JaredMcLaine
Title:Greenwitch
Authors:Susan Cooper
Info:New York, Atheneum, 1974.
Collections:Audio Book, Calibre, Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Greenwitch by Susan Cooper (1974)

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English (58)  German (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
The Drew children, Simon, Jane and Barney, are united with Will Stanton in a quest to draw magic from the Greenwitch, an image of leaves and branches that for centuries has been cast into the sea for good luck. Really enjoyed this installment because the characters get to be real people who get jealous and angry at things that children get jealous and angry about, rather than being idealized and uber-clever children as happens quite often in YA of this kind. I also really liked that unassuming Jane gets to play such a huge part - girl power! ( )
  -Eva- | Jul 25, 2015 |
At the vernal equinox, women in a Cornish fishing village pass the night on an ancient tradition, the creation of the Greenwitch. As Will explains: "'They make a leaf image and chuck it into the sea. Sometimes they call it the Greenwitch and sometimes King Mark's Bride. Old custom.'" (18)

Jane is invited to join the secret, female festivities:
"... the women set to working, in a curiously ordered way in small groups. Some would take up a branch, strip it of leaves and twigs, and test it for flexibility; others then would take the branch, and in some swift practised way weave it together with others into what began very slowly to emerge as a kind of frame.
"After a while the frame began to show signs of becoming a great cylinder. The cleaning and bending and tying went on for a long time...." (27)
"'Hazel for the framework,' the woman said. 'Rowen for the head. Then the body is of hawthorn boughs, and hawthorn blossoms. With the stones within, for the sinking. And those who are crossed, or barren, or who would make any wish, must touch the Greenwitch then before she be put to cliff.'" (28)

"When [Jane] turned back again towards the sea, the Greenwitch was finished. The women had drawn away from the great figure; they sat by the fire, eating sandwiches, and laughing, and drinking tea. As Jane looked at the huge image that they had made, out of leaves and branches, she could not understand their lightness. For she knew suddenly, out there in the cold dawn, that this silent image somehow held within it more power than she had ever sensed before in any creature or thing. Thunder and storms and earthquakes were there, and all the force of the earth and sea. It was outside Time, boundless, ageless, beyond any line drawn between good and evil. Jane stared at it, horrified, and from its sightless head the Greenwitch stared back. It would not move, or seem to come alive, she knew that. Her horror came not from fear, but from the awareness she suddenly felt from the image of an appalling, endless loneliness. Great power was held only in great isolation. Looking at the Greenwitch, she felt a terrible awe, and a kind of pity as well." (29-30)

"... As [Jane] came close to the Greenwitch she felt again the unimaginable force it seemed to represent, but again the great loneliness too. Melancholy seemed to hover about it like a mist. She put out her hand to grasp a hawthorn bough, and paused. 'Oh, dear," she said impulsively, 'I wish you could be happy.'" (31)
  maryoverton | Jul 6, 2015 |
The third book in Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising trilogy follows from the first book, in which the three Drew children; Simon, Jane and Barney, get together on holiday with their mysterious Great-uncle Merriman, commonly called Gumerry. Out in an ancient boating village in Cornwall, an age-old custom of building an offering to the sea goddess made of twigs and rocks called the Greenwitch is followed every year, the creation of which only the local women can assist. Many strange events take place this year, as the ancient forces of light and evil battle it out. A truly fascinating series which draws on Arthurian legends and ancient myths. ( )
  Smiler69 | Nov 17, 2014 |
This one was better than the previous. The story seems more well written than the first two. ( )
  learn2laugh | Sep 14, 2014 |
Barney and Simon are such big babies compared to Will, though I do like Jane and the fact that she has a nice role in this book. Still, my heart belongs to Will and Merriman, as always. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Cooperprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jennings, AlexNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Kate
First words
Only one newspaper carried the story in detail, under the headline: Treasures Stolen From Museum.
Quotations
When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back;
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone.

Iron for the birthday, bronze carried long;
Wood from the burning, stone out of song;
Fire in the candle-ring, water from the thaw;
Six Signs the circle, and the grail gone before.

Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold
Played to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old;
Power from the green witch, lost beneath the sea;
All shall find the light at last, silver on the tree.
On the day of the dead, when the year too dies,
Must the youngest open the oldest hills
Through the door of the birds, where the breeze breaks.
There fire shall fly from the raven boy,
And the silver eyes that see the wind,
And the light shall have the harp of gold.

By the pleasant lake the Sleepers lie,
On Cadfan’s Way where the kestrels call;
Though grim from the Grey King shadows fall,
Yet singing the golden harp shall guide
To break their sleep and bid them ride.

When light from the lost land shall return,
Six Sleepers shall ride, six Signs shall burn,
And where the midsummer tree grows tall
By Pendragon’s sword the Dark shall fall.

Y maent yr mynyddoedd yn canu,
ac y mae’r arglwyddes yn dod.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This LT work, Greenwitch, is Book 3 (of 5 Books) in Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising Sequence. Please distinguish it from other single titles in the series, and from any combination(s) of part or all of the series. Thank you.
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Book description
Simon, Jane and Barney, enlisted by their mysterious great-uncle, arrive in a small coastal town to help recover a priceless golden grail stolen by the forces of evil, the Dark. they are not at first aware of the strange powers of another boy brought to help, Will Stanton - nor of the sinister significance of the Greenwitch, an image of leaves and branches that for centuries has been cast into the sea for good luck in fishing and harvest.

Their search for the grail sets into motion a series of disturbing sometimes dangerous events that, at their climax, bring forth a gift that, for a time at least, will keep the Dark from rising.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Jane's invitation to witness the making of the Greenwitch begins a series of sinister events in which she and her two brothers help the Old Ones recover the grail stolen by the Dark.

(summary from another edition)

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