The Centre of the Green

John Bowen
Faber Members pay only £8.00 for this title. Sign up for free during checkout to get your discount.
Proceed to Checkout
ISBN 9780571241866 Format Paperback
Published 29/05/2008 Length 226 pages

About Book

First published in 1959 The Centre of the Green is John Bowen's third novel. The story centres around the Baker family: the father Justin is a retired Colonel; the mother, Teresa, is over-possessive and refuses to admit that her sons have grown-up; the sons Julian and Charles - one is a married advertising copywriter with a penchant for extra-marital affairs while the other is withdrawn and suicidal, desperately looking for human contact in the vast anonymity of London.

It is Julian's involvement with a seventeen-year-old girl that sparks the chain of events that eventually encompasses the whole family. The scene shifts between Devonshire, London and Majorca as each member of the family searches for a resolution to the impasse into which they have drifted and struggle to regain the family ties that they once had.

A subtle, intelligent and compassionate novel The Centre of the Green was commended by the Observer for its 'admirable vitality', while the Spectator described it as 'a series of expertly managed shocks'.

  • About John Bowen

    John Bowen was born in India, sent "home" to England at the age of four and a half, and was reared by aunts. He served in the Indian Army from 1943-47, then went to Oxford to read Modern History. After graduating he spent a year in the USA as a Fulbright Scholar, much of it hitch-hiking. He worked for a while in glossy journalism, then in advertising, before turning freelance when the BBC commissioned a six-part adventure-serial for Children`s Television. Between 1956 and 1965 he published six novels to excellent reviews and modest sales, then forsook the novel for nineteen years to concentrate on writing television drama (Heil Caesar: Robin Redbreast) and plays for the stage (After the Rain: Little Boxes: The Disorderly Women). He returned to writing novels in 1984 with The McGuffin: there were four more thereafter. Reviewers have likened his prose to that of Proust and P. G. Wodehouse, of E. M. Forster and the young John Buchan: it may be fair to say that he resists compartmentalisation. He has worked as a television producer for both the BBC and ITV, directed plays at Hampstead and Pitlochry and taught at the London Academy of Dramatic Art. He lives in a house on a hill among fields between Banbury and Stratford-on-Avon.

    More Info