‘Green is a charming book. Ted Krever writes with a sure hand and a light touch. The lightness, love and witty dialog made me think of AMidsummer’s Night’s Dream, so I can heartily recommend Green to anyone who enjoys a rich love story — and feels like taking an armchair trip to Ireland.’ – Mark McKenna on Goodreads. For the full review, click here.
Paul and Emily have been friends for decades. Just friends, as they say. Emily’s beautiful, well-off and has always pursued Paul, in her subtle way. He, on the other hand, has never been quite sure why he’s not crazy about her. And then, with his career plummeting along with his self-confidence, Emily invites him to visit her in Ireland, where she lives raising and training horses. And Paul thinks, maybe it’s time to let her catch me. Be a kept man-would that be so bad?
And then-naturally-he falls for the firebrand Irish barmaid, during a week of international protests against the coming Iraq War and a chance that suddenly arises for Paul to turn his whole life around-if he can summon the will to be bold.
Green is about a small group of people and a week when their lives intertwine. It’s about romance in middle age, when the stakes have gone way up. It’s also about the difference between love and friendship (they’re not as similar as we’d like), sex and passion (they’re not as similar as we think), Ireland, horses, the rule of greed in the world, war, sex, horses, baseball, Ireland, horses and sex. Did I mention sex? And Horses? (Well, I capitalized it that time…)
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Critics and writing teachers instruct—relentlessly—that the artist’s role is to offer not answers, but good questions. About life. About the world. But when you write about things that eat away at you, questions simply aren’t enough.
So when I got to ‘Green’—after ‘A Crafty and Devious God’, ‘The Bequest’ and ‘Howling at Wolves,’ each of which threw a different slant on male-female relationships–I shocked myself by actually finding some answers: about lovers and friends (why they’re not the same even though it would be sooo convenient), about the real basis for that Mars-Venus sexual-politics gulf and the way greed has seeped into the fabric of every part of our lives.
A dear friend invited me to Ireland for the first time eight years ago. It wasn’t a place I was particularly interested in but she lived there and assured me I‘d get a book out of the visit. I carried a notebook and took notes in character from the start. I was thrilled recently to find out that John LeCarre, one of my idols, travels the same way—storyline in mind, taking notes from a character’s point of view, people and incidents turned to stories in the original notes, so that, from the first, fiction informs the journey and vice versa. I flew to Ireland that way and immediately fell in love with the place and the people.
So I had a start. But something was missing. I was going through a particularly unsatisfying time in my love life and saw a profile on a dating site from a woman who said she had an open marriage and was looking for a lover. I’d never done anything quite like that before but it fit my cynical mood and, if nothing else, would have allowed for sex without complications, which at the moment seemed all I could handle.
I wrote her back and we agreed to meet at a Barnes & Noble in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Oh yeah, she had no picture on her profile—but she’d sounded confident and funny so I took a chance. She turned out to be a complete knock-out, definitely the prettiest woman I’ve ever met online.
It didn’t take long for our meeting to go south. After a few minutes back-and-forth, she mentioned casually that she was the only one taking advantage of the ‘open marriage.’ Her husband didn’t want a lover and didn’t want her to take one but, she said dismissively, ‘I can’t be expected to confine myself to one man.’
That pretty much instantly ended any interest I had in an affair. Which means, in mid-conversation, I put on my other hat—she became material. It’s a rather nasty part of being a writer; anything disagreeable or unsatisfying (and much of the good stuff too) ends up viewed through the prism of story. It gets in the way of life sometimes but every job has its hazards.
As she talked, I couldn’t miss that every story she told—about her own life, her friend’s lives—seemed to turn on how beautiful they were, the trials of being beautiful. My first reaction—I suspect it would be most people’s—was ‘most people would be more than willing to suffer that problem, dear.’
But then it occurred to me that it really was an interesting subject—beautiful women are imprisoned in a shell they didn’t create, that affects everything they do, the way they’re treated by everyone they meet, that offers them a power and influence others strive mightily for and that they know will be gone in all too short a time. It’s the Faustian bargain, the call to corruption in a very messy form.
So by the time we said goodbye outside B&N, I had Emily. It took seven drafts to get Jillian—she had to go from spokesperson to person and several women contributed mightily (though not always knowingly) to her. And those two characters opened the door to answers I needed.
Having come this far, I can now hopefully develop some new problems with women (instead of the same old ones). That’s the goal, at least.
I just saw your posting on Bookblogs. Good luck with your books, they look wild and wildly interesting. Any place I can read a few chapters? All the best, Mark
Howling At Wolves is up on Smashwords–you can read up to 35% of it online free.
I’m working to get the other books up in short order. As they go up, they will all be available for previewing. So check back at this site-or, if I can find a subscription feature, I’ll email you a notification.