This is a bit of a strange book. It echoes Beauty and the Beast tales as well as the Wild Man/Green Man stories, but the figure is a bearded girl. She is kept seperate from the nearest. The other people are the Boots, and since this takes place in 1944, we are supposed to be making connections with what is happening over in Europe, over in France.
The charm in the story, with the fairy tale motifs and strange canting narrator, is the beauty of the language, of the connectin between the girl and the nature that surronds her. In some ways, seperated as she is from society, she is a far better judge of human character.