Title: Jack in the Green
Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages/Word Count: 24 Pages
At a Glance: While slightly confusing at times, this is an interesting story with a couple of surprising twists.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: In 1920s England, class distinctions still hold sway, and the old pagan traditions are far from forgotten. Can shy young Arthur, stranded in a country village, come to terms with his attraction to the handsome mechanic fixing his car? And are the May Day celebrations more than just a simple country fete?
Review: Jack in the Green is a very short historical story (1920s) about a young man who has been on a journey home, and his car has broken down in a rural village in the English countryside. Luckily there is a mechanic, appropriately named Goodman, who will be able to fix his car, but he won’t be able to travel on until the part arrives and the work is done. He is able to fine accommodation at the local inn, and it just so happens that he that he will be there for the May Day fete. It seems that the mechanic is to portray Jack in the Green, and the daughter of the owners of the inn/pub, the May Day Queen. However, it’s not the queen that the mechanic would be interested in, and this is apparently common knowledge, but nobody seems bothered by it. There seems to be some sort of supernatural element to this village, and its residents as well – it’s like they know more about Arthur than they should – including the rector – and it’s a bit unsettling. But when the May Day celebration night and the second procession begins, Arthur is in for quite a surprise, and maybe his car has given out in this place for a reason.
I’ll admit, I was a little bit lost at times during this story. I think maybe because we don’t really have anything like a traditional May Day celebration in the US, I was unaware of the UK tradition of the Jack in the Green and May Day celebrations. I actually did a bit of looking up of the traditions after I read the story, so I got a better handle on what was going on in the story. 🙂 It was interesting and I’m always happy to learn something new.
You can buy Jack in the Green here: