Gentian Hill

Another less-than-inspiring cover! Gentian Hill is the last in the batch of Elizabeth Goudge novels that I bought in Basement Books a few months ago, and I've been reading it on and off for what feels like forever. It's a long novel, with very small print, and while all the usual Goudge ingredients are present (a star-like, serious, elfin child; a faithful youth; lost babies who are eventually reunited with their rightful -- and noble -- parents; a jaded man who rediscovers the joys of life through the agency of the elfin child; a wise old eccentric lady etc etc, in Gentian Hill, for me at least, they failed to catch fire. Maybe I've overdone the Goudge oeuvre, but reading this novel felt more like laboriously ticking boxes than the serene, transcendent experience I've come to expect from the very best of Elizabeth Goudge's work.

Anyway, I've finally finished the damn thing! Girls Gone By are going to re-release Goudge's autobiography, The Joy of the Snow, later this year, and I'm looking forward to reading that again. But maybe I'll have a little break until then.


  1. I know, I know. I find Goudge books I haven't read, or haven't read since I was young, and find them...unsatisfactory. I keep going back to Damerosehay for my comfort hit.

  2. Damerosehay are the best of the adult books, definitely. I think the children's books still stand up, at least I hope so! Linnets and Valerians and Little White Horse are still among my favourite books ever, they were so magical.