I have recently completed reading a book called “The Greening” by Margaret Coles.

This book is a novel, but one with a twist, and this is my review of it…

I chose to read this book because I hoped to find characters with four dimensions, based on my understanding of the fly cover. Yes, four dimensions, because it led me to believe that the characters would also be described not just in their physical, mental and emotional, but also their spiritual side. I am delighted to report, that I did.


The Greening -book cover

The characters that fill the book are people I can relate to because they show a keen interest in things which are eternal, like the soul, or spirit.  If you are female then it will interest you to know that the three main characters are female. (Though from my perspective this could have been balanced a little more with rounded males.)

Julian of Norwich is at the heart of the novel, and as I have for a long time been impressed with her poetry, it was good to hear more of her story, which though her life was lived in the 14th century, speaks clearly to us today a message of our acceptance and worth without judgement. For example, she spoke against the religious bigotry of the day, at the risk of threat of burning at the stake if her work was read.

The core of this book is about love intending that “all will be well”, and that the acceptance of such eternal love energy comes into and through us, as it did through Julian of Norwich. The character that I most related to was Ismene Vale, who seemed a model of compassion and kindness that reflects the work of Julian.

Ismene says, half way through the book, that “Every insight that one human being has can enrich another, indeed, every thought. Everyone has a story. Everyone is worthy of a hearing. Every voice should be heard.” This rings true to me, and is reflected in the stories in this book. They should be heard, as they can enrich.

My experience with groups of like minded thinking and compassionate people is that their stories should indeed be heard, and that the voice of each individual story has the power to combat the extremist view, and to validate the work of love, if it is absorbed without judgement.

One of the key characters, Sister Eleanor, says towards the end of the book that “we are living in a New Dark Age, in which the world is enduring a loss of love, a loss of tenderness, a loss of imagination, a loss of trust, a loss of soul.” This also is validated from my own experience, yet like Sister Eleanor I also believe that all people are “beautiful, and they are truly loved, and they have reason to hope.”

Indeed this is a sort of detective novel as well. The main mystery to be solved in this book is that mystery of how losses, and the associated suffering, can be resolved to fulfil this hope. Though there are two sexual relationship stories followed in the book, it is a relationship that brings with it the greening of the soul that is shown to carry hope’s most fragrant flower of joy and peace.

This was a good book, and I am recommending it, not because I have been paid to do this, nor because it is a classic, but because it addresses a need so prevalent in this New Dark Age. Oh, and the characters are real in that they carry the doubts and mistakes that make them accessible to most readers. Enjoy it!

(Published by Hay House 2013)

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.