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The Green Years

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  13 ratings  ·  11 reviews
When eight-year-old Harry Spencer’s father returns from WWI with a missing arm, his father’s bitterness shatters their relationship. Though confused and brokenhearted, Harry is determined to make something of himself. Endeavoring with heart and sometimes-humorous results, he sets out on his path in life, working in his granddad’s store, selling medicinal salves, washing ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published November 21st 2019 by BHC Press
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  13 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Angela M
3.5 stars

It’s 1917 in South Dakota and a widowed father of five children signs up for the war, leaving two of them with their grandparents and three with an aunt and uncle. Harry is eight years old as he and his sister are sent to stay with Gram and Gramps. A “shell shocked “ father returns with one arm, broken in spirt as well as body and unable to care for his children. Harry feels abandoned and wrestles with the things that are happening around him. The thing I liked most about this debut
Karen Kay
I received this from for a review.

Harry is determined to make something of himself. Endeavoring with heart and sometimes-humorous results, he sets out on his path in life, working in his granddad’s store, selling medicinal salves, washing windows, and falling in love.

Nice read, sweet story.

ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ

It takes a great writer to be able to write about a boy coming of age so well, especially when the writer is female. Ms. Wolff demonstrates so much depth and emotional intelligence in her depiction of both sexes across all age groups in this riveting novel. Her exceptionally vivid imagery is intoxicatingly beautiful. This is Wolff's breakthrough book and the idiosyncrasies of human nature are at the forefront of the story, making it so real and fascinating. The depth and complexity of the
- Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review -
3.5 stars.
An historical coming-of-age novel set in 1920s South Dakota, “The Green Years”, by Karen Wolff, is an entertaining story featuring an entrepreneur and dynamic young man who seems the personification of the American Dream.
Told from the perspective of Harry, the story held my interest with his juvenile yet assertive outlook on life, great characters and historical events interwoven with the lives of the protagonist and his
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This coming of age story is set in post WWI Iowa. Henry, a young boy idolizes his father as he goes to the front lines in France. When his father returns, he is far different then Henry remembers shattering Henry's illusion of having a re-united family. Motivated by his desire to "make something of himself" Henry finds himself moving further away from the family he loves. I enjoyed the perspective this book brought to a young boy's experience. Although the ending left me wanting a little more, I ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
The story of a boy's journey to manhood following the First World War, this novel isn't terrible, but it's boring. The characters are uniformly flat, and none of them seem capable of making decisions or thinking with any depth about the world, their lives, or anything else. None of them are very appealing, either, in part because they're such stereotypes, and none are interesting or inspiring enough to make the reader to want to know what happens to them or what they do. The various events ...more
Jen Juenke
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I loved this coming of age novel. This has been a great read and made me really think about the past.
For instance, what was life like with the hope of electricity coming to town.
How does a town react to the Ku Klux Klan coming to town and who joins?
How does a young boy with a "missing" father know what to do, how to act, how to ask out a girl?
This was a beautifully written book and I enjoyed reading it.
I really liked the drama of the adverse events that Harry had to overcome and his mind
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Green Years is one of those novels that will stay with me for a long time. I am a fan of historical fiction and enjoy learning about the past when there are characters that I can feel attached to and feel great emotion towards when reading about their lives during that time, such as I did with Harry. The conditions and circumstances that this boy lived through tore at my heart, yet his perseverance, innocence, and raw honesty pulled at my heartstrings even more. I found the story to be ...more
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved “The Green Years.” It’s a heartwarming tale of a curious and adventurous young boy, Harry Spencer, who, in growing up in a small town in South Dakota, discovers life isn’t always what it seems. Beautifully written with lively dialogue and humorous scenes, the author gives us a vivid picture of life after WWII and the obstacles people faced that seem surprisingly familiar to the struggles we face today. A wonderful, compelling coming-of-age story of family bonds and reconciliation.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
The Green Years is a story that begins during World War 1 about a boy that is growing up among family trouble and community problems. The family is divided due to financial worries, but the community is divided by the arrival of the Ku Klux Klan. It's an interesting story, but I was disappointed in the ending. It just didn't end like I thought it would, and it seemed to leave loose ends,
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A pretty good historical literary fiction. Interesting characters and a nice story made this mostly interesting. An ending that was a bit unresolved. A good first book by the author, who shows promise.

I really appreciate the advanced copy for review!!
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