March 5, 2008
I was so happy to discover your website in November of last year (2007). I had set myself the happy task of rereading all of my Elizabeth Goudge books because I felt my vision of the true Christian spirit was fading, and no one I have ever come across has been able to capture the essence of that spirit like Miss Goudge. That may have been because her work was an integral part of the shaping of my faith.
I first discovered her when I was in junior high school, about 13 years old, and for one of my elective classes I chose to work in the school library because I loved books. Part of my job was to tidy and dust the bookshelves, and replace the books to the shelves that had been returned and checked in. I think The Scent of Water caught my attention as I was placing it on the shelf one day because it was such a lovely title and an intriguing concept…rarely does anyone mention that there is a scent associated with fresh water. Reading the book I was enchanted with her descriptions of the “little things”; with the three necessary prayers the old cleric gave to Cousin Mary in her young distressed state: “Lord have mercy”; “Thee I adore”; and “Into Thy hands”. The language had a grace and a music of its own and the spiritual depth was a treasure. I had to find more from this author…and thus began a lifelong love of her work.
In my years of seeking a life of faith I have been helped as much by her books as by the Sunday school classes and Bible studies and services I have attended. She has a way of teaching through her characters and her stories that is inspiring without being “preachy”.
So here I am, over in America, at the ripe old age of 56, celebrating 43 years of “fan hood”, and through the internet I discover I am not the only person who still loves her writing. And I am delighted that you have so much here for me to explore! Thank you for providing an opportunity for Goudge fans to learn more about her and to share our appreciation for her books with one another.
Louise Clark Ashburn