WH Canaway

Crows in A Green Tree


W. H. Canaway, whose earlier novels have taken him farther afield (Find the Soy p. 230, 1961 and The Hunter and the Horns. p. 1074, 1962), stays closer to home in this novel of English village life. Pyro Hallett is the scion of the Manor falling to ruin since his father was disinherited for marrying his mother, when she was only fourteen, and he was a hero returned from the wars. Pyro at twenty is in the season of his discontent, one of those Angry Young Men according to Reverend Pinfold. He spends his days farming for Willy Firmin, evenings at the Antlers, focus of Windlebury nightlife, or, when he meets Dinny, in Wednesmoor. Searching for guideposts, he wants to do the Right Thing, which requires him to renounce Dinny when she wants to marry him and to marry Gianna Firmin, his real girl, after his father has made her pregnant. Everyone thinks Pyro is responsible for her condition, and the fact that he lets them think so (even after his father's death while driving to London brings further communal reproof), is the measure of his new maturity. A bouncy romp.

Young farm worker tells how he falls in love with his employer's granddaughter and of the scolding of the neighborhood "crows" when his father causes her to become pregnant.

What an utterly delightful book this is.  Daily Telegraph


Books by W H Canaway