My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have read and re-read this book several times over the years. Each time I read it, I get something new and fresh from it!
I picked it up again today, thinking, “I must know it all by now, I’m familiar with E. Goudge’s life and I don’t have any expectations any more” and found that I enjoyed it and appreciated her wisdom and perspective once again!
I greatly enjoyed her reminisces of childhood and later life, and later on, the story of looking for a place to live in Devon and suddenly discovering an old neighbor in a village shop, who actually ended up building a cottage for them.
The struggles she went through with her family through the war years and the resilience she learned also added to my appreciation of this author. It is true that some of her writing, as many have pointed out, is ‘sentimental’, but I also think that is partly due to the experiences she lived out and the value she placed upon the lessons she learned in them.
E. Goudge has a gift for description of country scenes and nature, and also for characterization. It was interesting reading about her journey to publication and beyond.
“Usually my characters manipulate me, not I them, but now they suddenly went dead as dormice. I could see no way through, and nothing that could possibly happen next.
So many people say that mental problems are solved in sleep, but that had never yet happened to me. But why shouldn’t it? In desperation I prayed that I might dream the rest of the book, and I did.”
Elizabeth Goudge is one of my favorite authors. I hope you give her a try!
“Looking back on the young men and women of that time I wonder if it is true that the young of today have to a large extent lost their tolerance and humour. Is that because privilege is a thing that makes them bitterly and intensely angry? Too angry for tolerance? To look well-born and well-endowed is a separating thing and they have no wish to be separated from the vast majority of suffering humanity. And here, how right they are and how much they have gained. I believe they are more concerned about injustice and exploitation than their grandparents were at their age.”
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