Victoria recommends! There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads.
When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely curious new owner in Henry Silver, everything changes. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias is forced to reckon with his troubled past—both the green magic of the woods, and the dark things that rest in its heart.
By Emily Tesh. Paperback. 112 pages. Published by Tor, 2019.
Victoria's thoughts: "Silver in the Wood" is a captivating, atmospheric and lush novella that often feels like a Hozier song in the best way possible.
Novellas are difficult--exceedingly difficult to write, to sell, to market. I think novellas will almost always feel too short or too long, but Tesh comes very, very close in hitting the perfect mark. (Also, very impressive to convince both a literary agent and an editor at Tor to publish a debut author with a novella! That's how you know it's good.)
This book is all queer and dark, dark green, sticky with sap and worn smooth like a stone in a river. Though I love the secondary external plot that moves in toward the end with Henry and his mother being "practical folklorists," I wonder if perhaps this would have made better for a full-length novel instead of a novella duology.
That said, I really did love this, and it's one of the best novellas I've read. Tesh absolutely knows what to put on the page and what to leave off, which is an enviable talent. I look forward to reading the second installment of the duology, but for now, I'm really left wondering why this wasn't a novel.