Everything you need to understand or teach The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden.
Confusion and pain of becoming adult and the resulting loss of innocence are the main themes of Godden's novel. Growing up can be a pleasant experience, but more often it is tinged with sadness and heartbreak. Each of the five children experiences growth in his or her own way. Cecil, at the edge of physical maturity, is the most obvious, especially since we see through her eyes. But there is also Joss, the beautiful sixteen-year-old who plays with the feelings of others and enjoys a sense of power which she, herself, cannot quite understand or control. Yet in many ways she is both child and woman and reacts with jealousy when her feelings are spurned. The younger children are mostly observers, but they, too, grow and mature during the novel. The growing-up of the five English children is contrasted with the same in their French counterparts.
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