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penchant for extra-marital affairs while the other is withdrawn and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
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