26 November 2008

The Bird in the Tree

Finished this and it was wonderful!  It's the story of Lucilla Elliot and her home of Damerosehay, a refuge and sanctuary for her family, especially her grandchildren.  Her grandson David is about to do something that will tear the family apart for good.  Can she do anything about this?  What allies can she draw upon?  Will her efforts to create a lasting family legacy be brought to naught?

In addition to the deeply-written characters (the house is almost a character in its own right), Elizabeth Goudge lays bare the realities of human nature and of redemption, of duty and its close relationship to love.

This is one of those books that inspire me to work harder in my home for the sake of my husband and our children to make our home the kind of sanctuary Damerosehay is to the Elliot clan.  I fail at this far more often than I like to admit, but confession is the first step of repentance.

However, if you want to read this (and I highly recommend that you do), look for a used copy.   The new edition I purchased is missing a couple of pages of text.  Since every page in this book is integral to the whole, I missed some important bits.  I'm grateful to the friend who typed out and emailed me the two pages that were missing.  I'm going to format them so I can stick them into my copy to have when I re-read it.  

Three times in the last month, I wrote to the publisher about this problem (and other, serious problems in another of their books that I'll post about soon), but haven't heard back.  This publisher is working to re-publish all of Elizabeth Goudge's books, which is a worthy endeavor, but until it's done well, I can't recommend them.



  1. Isn't this part of a trilogy? I recently read a bio of Goudge stating that she remained single all her life. I was amazed to read that because she writes beautifully about love and marriage.

  2. Yes, it is part of a trilogy. The second is called The Herb of Grace (in the UK) or Pilgrim's Inn (in the US), and the third is The Heart of the Family. I'd like to read the others, but I'm not going to order another of the new editions.

    I was also surprised to learn that she had remained single all her life. I wouldn't have guessed it with the depth of her understanding of married love.

    Thanks for your note!