The Child from the Sea

I finished it! I’ve been reading Elizabeth Goudge’s The Child from the Sea off and on for over a year. A 736-page historical novel that offers an alternative reading of Lucy Walter, secret wife of Charles II, the book shines in its place descriptions, touches of realistic detail, and attitude of wonder about the natural… Read More The Child from the Sea

Children's Books, Novels

The Blue Hills

I enjoyed Elizabeth Goudge’s The Blue Hills over a period of about two days. It’s actually a children’s book, though it was not located in the children’s section of the library when I came across it. However, it’s one of the children’s books that can be read with pleasure by adults — at least, by… Read More The Blue Hills


The Scent of Water

What a deep well of quiet reflection and spiritual satisfaction this novel is. It was my first Elizabeth Goudge book when I read it back in 2010, and having read a number of her other books since then I wanted to revisit it. I stand by everything I wrote about it in my first review.… Read More The Scent of Water


Storm writing

Even in the Northeast, everyone is bracing for Hurricane Sandy. Back on Wednesday, before it had really registered as a force to be reckoned with, I read this episode in The Child from the Sea and thought it was just stunning. I’m not sure why it had such an impact on me, but it’s partly… Read More Storm writing


Green Dolphin Street

When I finished Linnets and Valerians, I vowed I was not going to read any more Elizabeth Goudge. (I wrote about why here.) But now I’ve gone and read Green Dolphin Street. What can I say? My Goudge ban is not the first impassioned vow I’ve broken, and it’s had very happy results. Green Dolphin… Read More Green Dolphin Street


The Heart of the Family

Over the last year I discovered Elizabeth Goudge, a 20th century Christian author with a remarkable gift for capturing the beauty and sense of place in the English countryside that forms the setting for many of her books. Readers of Goudge will be familiar with her trilogy about the Eliot family, their indomitable matriarch Lucilla… Read More The Heart of the Family

Chapter Books

Linnets and Valerians

*Edited to add: See my revised view of this book. It’s Read-Aloud Thursday, and none of the shorter books we’ve read this week seem post-worthy. But we’re a few chapters into Elizabeth Goudge’s Linnets and Valerians, an ALA Notable Book for Children published in 1964. We are having a blast with it. For one thing,… Read More Linnets and Valerians


Pilgrim’s Inn

“Who did that?” he demanded.“Ben, my oldest boy,” said Nadine… “It’s damn good,” said John Adair, almost with violence. “But the drawing –” “Faulty, of course, he’s had no teaching. But he’s got it — the light.” It’s a conversation between artist John Adair and Nadine Eliot, returning in this second book of the trilogy… Read More Pilgrim’s Inn


The White Witch

The White Witch is a historical novel about the English Civil War(s) of the 17th century. It is surely one of Elizabeth Goudge’s best works, capturing not only the political conflict of Puritan against Royalist, but the many smaller-scale conflicts that characterize human existence. Some of these conflicts are antagonized by the war, but others… Read More The White Witch