Agnes’ hopes for adventures beyond her little village of Woolpit come terrifyingly true.
Raised by her loving, adoptive ma and da after being left in their cottage by a mysterious woman, Agnes chafes at the ordinariness of peasant life. Her late, beloved grandmother filled her eager imagination with stories of Those Good People of the Otherworld, but her only real human friend, Glory, is growing up and becoming impatient with Agnes’ dreamy ways. Fortunately, she has Mother, her loyal pig, for company. When Agnes hears crying from the wolf pits one harvest day, she discovers two green children, a boy and a girl, who speak a strange tongue. Persuaded that they have come to return her to her true parents, the king and queen of the fairies, Agnes is initially desperate to believe that she is “finally the girl in the story.” But her dreams are soon dashed, and she must remember all she learned from Granny if she is to save herself. The settings—both on Earth and below—are rendered with skill and care, but most characters are not well developed, resulting in a story with less emotional impact than might be expected. Initially heavy in internal monologue, it picks up considerably in pace in the second half. Human characters, when not green, default to white; two particularly unpleasant fairies have brown skin.
For patient readers, a medieval English legend cleverly infused with the supernatural. (historical note) (Fantasy. 10-14)