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4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  493 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published June 1st 1968 by Harcourt
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Jan 10, 2012 Alexi rated it it was amazing
You can read a hundred books, even good ones, without finding one that effects you in a meaningful way. But every once in a while you pick up a story—some simple, unassuming book—and something about it sinks deep within you, and lodges there. Such is Greensleeves.

I won't deny it; Greensleeves hurts, because it is honest. It's chockfull of gentle but unflinching insights into human nature. These can be hilarious, charming, tender, or excruciating by turn. I felt—and I suspect that anyone who has
It's been a long time since I read a book that just made me want to gush incoherently—and I never expected the next one would be a 1960s young-adult novel.

Shannon Lightley has spent her life being shuttled all over the world between famous and glamorous parents and step-parents, not to mention some aunts and uncles. At eighteen, after so much switching between different lifestyles, she doesn't really know who she is or what she wants to do with her life. An impulse and a twist of circumstances l
Shannon Lightly has just graduated from high school after a life time of living in Europe and the US, either with her mother, her father or her aunt. She has been everywhere in Europe, but when she is about to fly back overseas from Portland, she realizes she is really nowhere and isn't even sure of who she is and what she wants to do. She turns to her "Uncle" Frosty, who suggests she take the summer off, and ends up helping him discover what is up with a rather unusual will that he has been hir ...more
Rating: PG (for romance)

Recommended for: Ages 15 to Adult

A week ago, I didn't know this book existed. Last Thursday, I came across a link to this review on Twitter. Odd, because I rarely actually scroll through my Twitter feed, and even more rarely click on any links (unless they're behind-the-scenes information on Doctor Who; those I can scarcely resist). I suppose it was the author name that intrigued me: Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Since the review made it sound incredibly interesting, it was $1.9
Anna Ilona
The pacing of the prologue-like first chapter aside, I slipped easily into the world of this book and would have liked to remain there longer. Our eighteen-year-old heroine is a girl who has been haphazardly raised by seven different parent-figures, including her divorced father and mother, while being dragged up and down across Europe. When in Europe, she is perceived to be an American; while in the States, she is seen as European. She is a girl who doesn’t know who she is. Our story opens with ...more
Janice (Janicu)
Aug 23, 2008 Janice (Janicu) rated it it was amazing
This is a growing pains type of book, something that makes you look at being a young adult stuggling with growing up in a different way, maybe in a wring you out kind of way. Possibly the only other books that made me feel this way would be the series by Megan McCafferty.

Sherwood Smith, author of Inda and Crown and Court Duel has recommended it on livejournal ( and describes it very well - "Greensleeves had what I considered the very best illustration of
Aug 03, 2015 Annalee rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadultlit
I would never have picked this up on my own (out of print), but on the recommendation of Amy Karol at Angry Chicken (, I went for it.

The book was charming in a lot of ways. Not perfect, but charming. The author did a lovely job of bringing around small details and turns of phrase multiple times. I appreciated that she'd thought out her whole book well enough not to drop small nuances. My favorite of these was a few references to the bandicoot's "expert d
Nov 20, 2015 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'd never heard of this book or this author before (though she apparently wrote some of the later Oz books), but it's one of the ones Nancy Pearl had reissued, which was enough of a reason to check it out (another reason: it's $1.99 for Kindle right now). Originally published in 1968, it's the story of an eighteen year old girl completely at loose ends--she's the child of divorced celebrity parents who have raised her all over Europe, and she has no idea w
May 04, 2016 Ginger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, I Love Love Love coming of age stories. Of course, there are the childhood favorites - Anne of Green Gables and Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farms. But every once in while, I come across a new coming of age book. And sometimes these books just capture your imagination and draw you into the story such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or I Capture the Castle. Greensleeves is such a book. Shan pours off the page. I know her and sympathize with her and want to shake her in turn. Her neighbors are ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2014 Tia rated it really liked it
All my adult life I've been trying to find a book I read when I was young enough to forget what it was even about but which I only knew moved me to tears. I knew it had GREEN somehow in the title, and I've searched the library shelves in futility until finally, I've been reunited with the book: Greensleeves. When I finished it this time, it moved me differently, not to tears, maybe because when I read it as a kid I wanted a certain outcome that as an adult I didn't need.

My favorite thing about
Apr 08, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing

April 8, 2015
This book is back in print again. My sister bought a copy and is reading it for the first time. It is also available on Kindle which is where I read it again.

I couldn't help but be a little impatient with the total lack of money problems this girl had. She had an allowance, two paid jobs that apparently were enough to buy plane tickets and hotel rooms even though she was only flipping burgers to pay the rent. Those were the good old days I guess when you could arrive for an interna
Feb 24, 2008 Patrick rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 5Q, Diana, Julia
Recommended to Patrick by: Sherri!
Shelves: 5q-book-group
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2016 Esther rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books ever. McGraw's eloquent language and detailed characters are just sheer pleasure. Of course we want it all to turn out happily in the end, but McGraw very sweetly gives us a real world ending.

While most of us might read it now with a tinge of envy for Shan's cosmopolitan upbringing, I found myself this time feeling nostalgic for a world where you could just rent a room without a million forms, get a job without having to prove anything but your ability to show up and do
May 06, 2016 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am glad that I listened to Nancy Pearl and read this book from the 1960s. It was a lighthearted novel with sweet characters, which was just what I needed at the time that I read it. There is nothing earth shattering or terribly intellectual, but the characters are well-developed and it is well-written. I really enjoyed it.
Aug 29, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, romance
This is really a book about identity. The main character has a famous ex-pat American father, a famous Irish mother (both divorced and remarried), family in Oregon, and has been bounced around Europe for most of her life. Trying to figure out who she is, she spends a summer in Oregon, and to her surprise, spends it as a completely different person.

I really loved this book, because it didn't pull punches. Identity is not something simple, and getting to know yourself isn't simple either. Sometime
Jul 08, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This re-issue of a 1968 book is part of Librarian Nancy Pearl’s series, “A Book Crush Rediscovery.” I’m so glad she added it; I somehow missed it the first time around.

Shannon Kathleen Lightley, age 20, narrates this story of what happened in the summer when she was 18, at loose ends, and helping her Uncle Frosty, a lawyer, with some investigative work in the Portland, Oregon area. Shannon not only didn't know what she wanted to do with her life; she didn’t even know who she really was. She felt
The narrator of Eloise Jarvis McGraw’s superb novel, Greensleeves, reissued recently in Nancy Pearl’s Book Crush series, is one of my favorite waitresses in literature.

The daughter of a famous actress and journalist, eighteen-year-old Shannon Kathleen Lightley has an identity crisis after high school. She has lived all over Europe, speaks several languages, yet always longed for stability. She was thrilled when her divorced parents agreed to let her spend her senior year living with her aunt in
Mar 27, 2015 Suze rated it it was amazing
I first read this book well over 40 years ago when I was still in junior high. I was attracted to the title Greensleeves and put it back on the shelf because it wasn't about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, but kept going back to it. And then I read it. And read it and reread it. There was something about it that appealed to my 13 year old self so much that I had to read it again every few months. Finally, at the end of the year, I stole the book. And I still have that edition. Yes, I admit it. (Is t ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Nancy Pearl for bringing back this classic! One of my favorites that I read in 2015.
Although this is ostensibly a well written mystery love story that grabs your attention and doesn't let you go, that isn't all it's really about. You'll love unraveling the adventures of the protagonist, but it's really a story about what happens in young adulthood when we try and figure out who we are, what we want, and what our place is in the world. We try on different personalities, different looks,
Alison C
Apr 08, 2015 Alison C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shannon Kathleen Lightley is an ex-pat mongrel - born in Ireland to a British actress and an American investigative journalist, she has lived her life out of suitcases, residing in houses and hotels all over the world, but never fitting in anywhere. When she finishes high school in America, she revolts against her father's plan that she begin college immediately, and instead takes a job offered by a family friend; a lawyer, he is investigating the strange will left by a woman which completely ig ...more
Carol Nicolas
Shannon Lightley has reached the end of high school and wonders what to do. All her life, she’s been pulled in many directions and has tried without success to fit in. She’s lived all over Europe with both sets of famous parents, lived with her aunts and uncles in America, and now her father is demanding that she go to a European college. She doesn’t know if she even wants to go to college. She’s lonely, confused, and aching to find some real meaning in her life.

Then her Uncle Frosty offers her
Even though I finished it and even enjoyed it in spots, there was something about this book that just didn't work for me. Either the characters, the situation--or both--didn't ring true to me. Maybe it was that underneath the insecurity, the main character actually seemed quite impressed with herself; or that underneath that self-regarding character I sensed a self-regarding author (there's something tacky about having one of your characters muse about what a great novel your plot would make, (v ...more
Well, there's been a lot of talk about this one lately, and since I've been trying to remember the name of a book I loved back in 6th grade and can't think of, I've been reading other peoples favorite books from childhood. Nothing about it is what you think it's going to be. The plot switchbacks and diverges, the main character Shan vacillates like a leaf in a gale... and everyone around her is becalmed. It's that tricky part of adolescence on display here in all it's painful colors. I cringed s ...more
Michelle Dalley
Jun 24, 2015 Michelle Dalley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So glad I happened on this little gem! The best book I've read in a long time. Original, unexpected story that runs the spectrum of emotions. Thought provoking, and analyzes people in subtle ways that blends so well with the story, but leaves you with understanding like having read a psychology text book. It will make you look at yourself too, and "peel away the onion layers " of your own character while Shan tries this on herself. Its about self perception, true perception, and how to know the ...more
Jun 10, 2015 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I listen to KUOW's weekly radio show featuring Nancy Pearl who gives book recommendations. This book is part of Nancy's Book Crush Rediscoveries with a focus on older books that Nancy feels are so wonderful they should be republished and brought to the spotlight. While I did enjoy main character Shannon, who is an 18 year old trying to figure out her future after bouncing around the globe with her parents, I just didn't go along with the silliness and unbelievable charac ...more
Carissa Smith barrett
For eighteen-year-old Shannon Lightley, life’s been an endless parade across Europe, following either her actress mother or her renowned journalist father. Paris, Milan, London—Shannon has been everywhere, but somewhere along the way, she realizes she’s really…nowhere.
Having graduated from high school and about to board yet another flight for yet another destination, Shannon is offered an alternative: stay in Portland, Oregon, with her parents’ close friend and help his law firm investigate a gr
Dec 21, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really about a girl who is trying to find out who she is. I borderline loved this book! I thought the setup of the book was very creative and fun. She is out in the world for the very first time and she discovers a lot about who she is by pretending to be someone else. I probably would have given this book five stars but the author leaves a portion of the puzzle hanging at the end and I wanted it all spelled out for me. I laid awake forever after finishing the book trying to write m ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
This book, like I Capture The Castle, did the trick of making me feel like I was 17 again. This is not an entirely pleasant experience, but if nothing else I am reminded how nice it is to be well on the other side of all (well, most of) that anxiety. I would have loved this book in high school, and I look forward to my daughters reading it (the older isn't quite three, so I've got a while to wait!). It is a bit sad and a bit silly (I'm looking at you Dave Kulka) but I liked reading it and it mad ...more
Nov 20, 2007 Adrienne rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book :-)
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Who Doesn't Love ...: Greensleeves 4 stars 1 5 May 01, 2016 12:58PM  
Play Book Tag: Greensleeves by Eloise Jarvis McGraw 1 4 Apr 29, 2016 11:03AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 12, 2015 01:30PM  
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Eloise Jarvis McGraw was an author of children's books. She was awarded the Newbery Honor three times in three different decades, for her novels Moccasin Trail (1952), The Golden Goblet (1962), and The Moorchild (1997). A Really Weird Summer (1977) won an Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America. McGraw had a very strong interest in history, and among the many book ...more
More about Eloise Jarvis McGraw...

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“One doesn’t just chuck away the story of one’s life, however much one wishes it had read differently.” 2 likes
“Dr. Edmonds smiled and shrugged. “It’s a bit harsh, perhaps, but Ezra Pound once said, ‘Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing; the rest is mere sheepherding.’ I think he was right. I seem to have spent my life with the sheep.” 0 likes
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