The Green Ribbons

Written by Clare Flynn
Review by Richard Tearle

Hephzibah Wildman suddenly becomes an orphan and must leave the house of her stepfather and mother at an Oxford college and where she had led rather a sheltered life. She obtains employment with a Berkshire squire and two men are rivals for her affections: the squire’s handsome but wayward son and the local parson, a shy, bookish man who once saw her as a child at Oxford and had fallen instantly in love with her. Which one will she choose and what will be the consequences of her choice? She also learns the truth of her mother’s first marriage.

Ms Flynn moves the story along at a good pace with many twists and turns. Hephzibah’s impetuosity drives a plot full of fear, shame and passion in an English setting – reminiscent of Jane Eyre.