Read The Castle on the Hill by Elizabeth Goudge Online

the-castle-on-the-hill

It is the summer of 1940 and England is fighting for her life. In a rural corner of England the vagaries of war bring together a group of people wrestling the enemy within--fear, despair, loss of faith.A web of chance... a fateful meeting in a London street... A lost teddy bear... the wrong train... and the lives of four people were altered forever! A shy, middle-aged spinIt is the summer of 1940 and England is fighting for her life. In a rural corner of England the vagaries of war bring together a group of people wrestling the enemy within--fear, despair, loss of faith.A web of chance... a fateful meeting in a London street... A lost teddy bear... the wrong train... and the lives of four people were altered forever! A shy, middle-aged spinster was to find a new home and fall impossibly in love. An elderly street fiddler, bitter and lonely, was to take an unexpected train ride and encounter kindness from a total stranger. Two frightened children were to escape ther terrors of wartime London and bring dramatic changes to the Castle on the Hill....

Title : The Castle on the Hill
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780715600450
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 203 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Castle on the Hill Reviews

  • Beth Bonini
    2019-02-24 09:01

    A few years ago one of my English friends told me that Elizabeth Goudge's novel The Little White Horse was her favorite 'comfort' read from childhood. I had never heard of Goudge, but soon discovered that she was a prolific, highly esteemed author from mid-20th century England. In many ways, her writing reminds me of that of Dorothy Whipple and C.S. Lewis - mostly because there is a highly moral backbone to all of their stories which is certainly a reflection of the Christianity at the core of their world-view. They are not unrealistic about human nature, but they are deeply optimistic. I also think of the word 'humane'. This is only my second Goudge novel, but I suspect that she is probably more romantic and fanciful than either Whipple or Lewis. Although these qualities will not be to everyone's taste, they strike a deep emotional chord in me. She is an old-fashioned writer in many ways, but I love that about her work.This novel is set just after the British evacuation at Dunkirk - and only later I realised that I read it during the anniversary of those dates (May 27 - June 4, 1940). Goudge was writing just a year after the events which take place in this book (the London Blitz, etc) and at that point there had not yet been a turning point in the war. No one knew that England would eventually be the victor, and indeed that outcome looked very unlikely. It gave me chills to think that Goudge was writing about fear and bravery during a time those qualities were being called upon every day.One of the Goudge's themes is about how war rips apart the fabric and pattern of life - and how it might be possible to knit oneself back in again. At the beginning of the novel, a woman named Miss Brown meets a street musician (a Jewish refugee); both are at their very lowest ebb, and in an important way -which will have reverberations throughout the novel - their encounter leads to their salvation. Although these characters are very different, they have both lost their homes - and both have become unmoored from a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging. The novel employs what might seem like a series of unlikely coincidences; I was perfectly happy to accept them, though. Eventually, Miss Brown, the musician (Jo Isaacson) and two young girls who are evacuated from London end up at a castle in Torhaven (Devon) - home seat of many generations of the Birley family. Miss Brown becomes the housekeeper of the Castle, and very much bound up with the Birley men and their faithful old retainers.There are elements of romance in this book, but it is more profoundly about the love of country than the love between men and women. Certainly, the latter is bound up in the former. Although it's a stretch to say that one could long for the upheavals and painful losses endured during the war, I do long for the brave and noble human qualities described in this book. Such a beautiful story.

  • Hana
    2019-02-23 12:09

    Three and a half stars. It's nowhere near as strong a book as The Dean's Watch, but it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, a gentle study of the way English character and class were reshaped by the chance happenings of World War 2. I've probably read too many books on the subject and that made The Castle on the Hill somewhat less than compelling for me.The plot, such as it is, unfolds extremely slowly with many inner philosophical monologs that got a bit wearing. I loved the characters, though, and Miss Brown is drawn with such sensitivity and developed so beautifully that it was worth reading the book just for the pleasure of getting to know her. She is a quiet soul who would probably never exist in our busy times; she is courageous without bravado, caring despite shyness, her life is shaped by duty and hard work--and despite the hardships she never succumbs to bitterness.Content: G for general audiences.

  • Jane
    2019-02-23 07:58

    This is a story of the darkest days of World War II, when only England stood against the Nazi forces advancing across Europe, and when the fear of invasion was very, very real. Elizabeth Goudge lived on the south coast of England then, close to the eye of the storm, it was during the war that she wrote this book, and it was clear as I read that she knew and she that understood.She write of a group of people who were drawn together, at a castle on a hill.Miss Brown was a very English lady; quiet, polite and unassuming. She had grown up in a sleepy seaside town, but she had moved to London when the family home that she had turned into a boarding house was requisitioned by the military, and when she was turned out. It had seemed to be the sensible thing to do, but she had been unable to find a job and she was weary of staying with relations; her spirits were low, and when the news came that her home had been destroyed in a bombing raid they sank even lower. She feared for her future; all she had in the world was a train ticket, bought for a visit to a relation in the country, and a few coins.Mr. Isaacson was an Englishman of Jewish descent, who had travelled to Leipzig for his musical training and settled there. He achieved success as a musician, even though he was rather too fond of a drink, but the growing persecution of the Jews forced him to flee, across Europe, back to his homeland. He scraped a living, playing for pennies on the streets of London, but he was terribly afraid that he would soon face persecution there too.It was as she sat on a bench in front of the London Free Library that Miss Brown heard music; a lovely melody that she had never heard before. It lifted her spirits, and so that she rose from her seat to find the musician. She found Mr Isaacson and she spoke to him, wanting to know what the tune was. He responded eagerly and she put a shilling in his hat before she left to catch her train.That shilling left Mr Isaacson in a quandary. He had decided, some time earlier, that he would use the next shilling he earned to fuel the fire in his rented room, so that he could gas himself. It wasn’t what he wanted but he saw no alternative, no future for himself. He just hadn’t expected the moment to come so quickly.But when Mr Isaacson arrived home he found that maybe he could seize another moment. His landlady’s two small daughters were being evacuated to the country that day and their mother was anxious that they would be too late to report to their school; as he was fond of the children Mr Isaacson found himself volunteering to take the girls to the station. The bus fares swallowed his shilling.An extraordinary series of coincidences – or maybe the hand of fate – or maybe the guidance of a higher power – saw the two adults onto the same train to the same destination.I found it easy to accept. Elizabeth Goudge writes so beautifully, with rich descriptions catching every detail, catching the wonder of the world and being alive; and she brings her characters to life with such wonderful understanding, setting out their hopes, their fears, all of their emotions as they react to everything that happens.That makes her books very slow, but very rewarding; I love them, but I can understand why others don’t.When Miss Brown missed her station a gentleman saw her distress and offered assistance. Mr Birley was a historian – Miss Brown recognised his name, and had read his books – and that helped him to draw her out, and gave her the confidence to explain her circumstances. And that gave Mr Birely an idea. He was returning from a trip to London, where he’d had no success in engaging a suitable housekeeper for his home, Birley Castle. Might Miss Brown be the woman for the job? He persuaded her that she was!In another part of the train evacuees were on their way to Torhaven, the nearest village to Birley Castle. And Mr Isaacson is in the guard’s van. He hadn’t eaten for some time and not long after he handed the girls over to their teacher he collapsed into the baggage car. The guard, Mr Holly, found him there and, thinking that the children Mr. Isaacson was accompanying were his own, he offered him a place to stay until he could find a job and establish himself in Torhaven.It was almost too fortuitous, but I was completely caught up with the characters and the story. And I wanted the best for each and every person I met in the pages of this book.Miss Brown found the role and the place in the world that she had so needed as she settled in as the castle’s housekeeper. Moppet and Poppet were billeted there and, though they missed their mother and their home terribly, they were pleased to see the lady who had rescued a drooped teddy bear at the station again and to have such a wonderful new home to explore. They were even more pleased when they spotted Mr Isaacson in the village: he was still lodging Mr Holly, but he had established himself as a street musician and a music teacher and he was paying his way.Meanwhile Mr. Birley was able to return to his books, free of domestic distractions; his elder great nephew, Richard, a fighter pilot, came and went between missions; his younger great-nephew, Stephen, a conscientious objector, left to work with the emergency services as they struggled to cope with the casualties and the damage caused by the bombing of London; and, in the village, Prue, the doctor’s daughter, who was drawn first to the quiet Stephen but then formed a deeper attachment with his dashing elder brother, struggled with her feelings.In the castle Mr Boulder, the butler who was loyal but horribly aware that he was aging, was resistant to Miss Brown at first but quickly won over; and in the lodge the widowed Mrs Heather, who knew she was blessed, was a reassuring presence.Each and every one of them was fully realised; a real human being, living and breathing at a particular point in history.There were flaws – Mr Isaacson’s character seemed unfocused; the naming of Moppet and Poppet – but emotionally and spiritually the story rang true.And it said so much about their times.Mr Boulder’s story explored the feelings of generation too old to go to war, who had fought in another war and had not thought that there would be another; Miss Brown’s story spoke of class divisions that it seemed would always remain; Stephen’s story, his feelings about the war and the way they changed in the light of his experiences and his family’s feelings, was particularly striking. And all of their stories caught the mixture of faith, pride and fear that sustained them through those difficult war years.They were all changed by events, by their circumstances, as the story moved forward. And above all the story spoke about people coming together to live through difficult times.Coincidence – or fate – or a higher power – continued to play a part – but the natural falling into lace of the earlier part of the story did not. There would be tragedy, there would be losses, lives would be changed irrevocably, before and ending that felt right but was by no means final. The war was not over and the world was changing.But this story caught those early years of the war, and the people who lived through them quite perfectly.

  • Theresa
    2019-03-13 09:58

    Miss Brown, in her early forties, is alone and at a loss as to what to do. Living in the early years of WW2 England, she is overtaken by fear, having just lost her home and her livelihood due to the destruction of the bombings. “Cousin Emmie did not like her and did not want her but was willing to house her for a week or so while she looked about her for a job. But she could not find a job...no one wanted a shop assistant. No one seemed to want housekeepers or companion helps either; they could not afford them or they already had five hundred applications for the post. She could not get any war work to do; at present they wanted only strong young women and she was forty-two and looked fragile.As the days had gone by a leaden despair had grown in her. When she had heard by this morning’s post that her beloved house and all her possessions had been blown sky-high she had hardly been surprised; she had said to herself that it merely meant that now there was no past as well as no future; only today with its fear.”On the way to visit her cousin, Miss Brown almost misses her train, but a hand reaches out to her and pulls her up into his (first class) carraige. And thus we are introduced to Mr. Birley, an English gentleman. The reader will find Mr. Birley to be not only part of the English gentry, a vanishing class, but also kind, patriotic, and stoic. During the journey he begins to gently question Miss Brown (her real name is Dolores. The reader is told this in the early pages of the novel but she is ever after referred to as “Miss Brown”), and finding that she is both home-and-job-less, he takes pity on her and engages her as his housekeeper.What Goudge tries to do in this novel of the early years of England during the war, is shown through three main characters: Stephen Birley, Mr. Birley’s son; Jo Isaacson, an exiled, persecuted Jew, and Miss Brown, the aging, principled spinster. Three classes, three separate stories, three dilemmas. Stephen is a pacifist (not a popular position to have during war-time England!) Miss Brown’s conflict is fear and finding a place she can make into a home, and a way to support herself. And Jo Isaacon’s dilemma is not only to simply survive, but also somehow find meaning in life itself. Jo Isaacson is a transient Jew, having fled from first Germany, then Vienna, and now to England with no home and his only means of earning a living through his talent playing the violin on the streets.“It’s because we’re all shut up in England now like beleaguered people in a castle on a hill,” said Miss Brown. “Outside is that great evil army battering to get in; and it does not do to think of it too much. It does not do to think of tomorrow either. It is right that we should all be friendly, for we have only today, each other and our pride.”‘The Castle on the Hill’ illustrates what it was like for the children were sent to the country during the war for safety, only to lose their parents in the Blitz. It shows the sheer doggedness of England, digging out in the rubble of bombed streets and churches, all the while saying “I can’t go on” and yet going on because one must. It brings home to the reader that even in the darkest hours, there is value to life; that courage is an attainable thing, and there is always something to strive for.E. Goudge has a talent for exposing all of the pathos and emotion of the human heart.Out of all the books I have read by this author, although I enjoyed this one and found much to think about, I also found it to be more difficult to pinpoint exactly what she is trying to say. I am still mulling over some of the ideas Goudge expresses in this novel. I guessed that she is exploring (through her characters), more than giving the reader ‘an experience’.And Goudge does a LOT of exploring in this novel. She presents not only the concept of pacifism during war-time and whether it is a justifiable viewpoint when life itself is threatened, but she also stresses the importance of the home in order to survive the worst life has to offer. For Goudge, making a place of safety for someone in need, whether or not one is related by blood, is of immense value. She also scrutinizes the choices we individually make and their impact on those around us and then cleverly weaves it all into a historic vignette. Along with Mr. Birley and others in this book, we mourn the loss to society all the way from feudal times in England up to the class structural changes that the Second World War ushered in. Miss Brown is presented with a difficult choice: “Desperately she sought for the answer, searching her own character, remembering that day when she had knelt by her bed and said to herself, “I’m not a self-sufficient woman. I can’t get along unless I can be indispensable to someone.” Did it matter much, with a nature like hers, to whom one was indispensable? “Change is always difficult, but perhaps the author is attempting to give the reader hope that in our frailty itself there is strength if we learn to rely on One greater than we are, that has experienced all that we have and triumphed in it.

  • Carolyn Hill
    2019-03-16 06:54

    A simply wonderful book. I have little to add to the excellent reviews already here. The Castle itself, though a physical refuge in the book, is a metaphor for England and its glorious and inglorious past as it is under attack in the early days of WWII. The German planes fly over every night on their bombing missions. The young Birley brothers who are the current residents of the family estate are constitutionally different: the elder heir is a risk-loving RAF pilot, and the younger a pacifist who was about to embark on his architectural training. Their uncle, a writer and historian, represents the old guard. Into their home comes the capable Miss Brown as a housekeeper and two evacuee little girls from a 'decent' but poor household in London. A down-on-his-luck Jewish violinist plays a pivotal role and represents the masses of Jews who had been discriminated against, driven into exile, and murdered by the millions historically, as well as particularly at that time. While this book is full of the love of country, Goudge is careful not to overly glamorize the feudal past and gives voice to concerns for the poor and working classes as well as for the traditions of the landed class who were the fighting knights of the past and represented in the histories and culture. She bridges both worlds wonderfully with the cast of characters from London as well as the estate and the nearby village. There is a little romance as well as unrequited love of the gentlest kind. Perhaps the plotting relies too much on coincidence, but I found that didn't bother me at all. Some characters have a mystical connection to the past which tends to bleed into the present, and though fanciful, it alludes to the history of the castle and the country itself. Goudge always has a deep spiritual tone in her writing, but she's never preachy or too starchy, and her characters are flawed and believable. Though things work out in the end, it is often through much sacrifice. As another reviewer pointed out, this was written in 1941 long before the end result of the war was known, and thus makes it more poignant. Goudge's style is old-fashioned, lush and romantic, with beautiful detailed descriptions of the landscape, and mostly interior musings with much less dialogue. I found that every few pages or so I wanted to write down a quote. I didn't take the time to, so will definitely have to re-read in the future.

  • Olivia
    2019-02-19 13:05

    I was a bit unsure how many stars to give this. It is so poignant, refreshing, astonishing, and so well-written I didn't want it to end. Although it is written during World War 2, you still have a feel of the 1800s as a lot of the book surrounds the castle in Tornhaven. I love the characters Elizabeth Goudge creates. Miss Brown, nothing special about her, with no hope for the future after he home is bombed hears a man play the violin and feels happier. She then becomes a housekeeper at the castle. There Mr. Birley, the owner, is old and has deep reference toward his country. His nephews reside with him: Richard, an RAF pilot, who throws himself at his job with passion. And Stephen, a pacifist, who hates war and wants to become an architect. Then there is Boulder, the butler, who is somewhat kind under his dreadful personality. Mrs. Heather who always smiles. Mr. Isaacson, the Jew and violinist, who has no hope for his life. Moppet and Poppet, evacuated children from London, whose cheery personalities add light to the story. And Purnella, although not beautiful, has spice and vitality.The last paragraph was profound in its address to Jesus Christ as our protector.Content:-several swear words-a young lady gets pregnant out of wedlock (*not* detailed)-a couple kisses-mention of digging people out of bombed buildings (little detail)Also, the style of writing might not be everyone's cup of tea. There is a lot of description of feelings, sorrow, and characters lives.

  • Anna
    2019-02-24 05:52

    I don't generally read "war stories" as they usually give me nightmares. But "Castle on the Hill" was different. The characters, facing WWII in England, were also facing their fears of war, and each managing to conquer his or her fear in a different way. Although nothing turned out the way the characters might have wished, they were able to overcome and carry on, and even grow and mature through their experiences. I loved Miss Brown and Moppet and Poppet. The book itself was a long read, and I occasionally got tired of the characters' long reflective soliloquies. But Goudge is very adept at description and she could really make you feel the warmth and golden light of the sunshine and the green, wavy light in the forest, and the brilliance of scarlet geraniums in a window. I think this was a very encouraging sort of read - watching characters overcome their weaknesses and build relationships, and conquer their fears. I believe I read somewhere that Goudge herself was immersed in WWII in the English countryside, and if so, this book probably grows out of her personal experience.

  • Phillip
    2019-03-07 13:00

    What a nice gem this book turned out to be. Published in 1941, it is a contemporary story of England dealing with the continual assault from Germany. The author starts with a middle aged woman whose profession and home have been entirely disrupted by that war. As she starts interacting with the other characters in the book the reader follows them each as they strive to reposition themselves into the pattern of life, when war has imposed a major shift in the pattern. Although the German bombers fly overhead every night, and some one is always stationed as the sentinel on the hill, this novel is more about the inner battles of people in a country town than of the force of arms. In portraying these people and their environment, Elizabeth Goudge wields a well-honed gift of prose in beautiful descriptions that more than paint a pretty picture, but give depth to her storytelling. Her tale is an insightful probing into what people do when they can't have the desire of their hearts.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-09 11:10

    This was a unique read for me. Written in 1940 in England during probably the scariest time of WWII for the English it is a story full of sadness and loss... and yet -- and yet it's more than that. It's also story of how people find hope and happiness in the midst of a dark, scary, uncertain time when they are full of grief over the loss of loved ones and the loss of life as they knew it.I've only read a handful of Goudge's books, but while I did appreciate this book and am glad I read it, I can't say it was a favorite. There was a lot of depth to this book, some of which I felt went over my head (i.e. the discussions about life and God were a little out there at times.)Overall I thought the book ended on a bittersweet note, with promise of better -- different, but better times ahead.I particularly liked the character of Miss Brown and was happy to see her get her happy ending even if it wasn't how she first envisioned it when she came to the castle.

  • Susan
    2019-03-18 06:03

    Let's just say, Elizabeth Goudge is one of my favorite authors, and this book was beautiful! Such a well written story that touches both heart and soul. The story is set in England during the dark days of WWII when Germany was bombing London and outlying areas. But, the beauty of this story is the characters that the author brings to life. They are so very rich, deep and realistic. I can only dream of ever writing sentences that speak such truth as Elizabeth Goudge.

  • Carolynne
    2019-03-12 09:55

    Miss Brown is displaced by the military during WWII, but finds a home as housekeeper to the reserved Mr. Birley and his nephesw in their "castle in Torhaven, near the coast. There are other people who are drawn to the castle to escape the London Blitz of 1940, and there relationships are soon inextricably tangled. Miss B. falls in love with the crusty bachelor Mr. Birley, but it is Mr. Isaacson, the homeless Jewish violinist, who cares for and appreciates her. Reckless young Richard Birley is loved by beautiful Prunella, but it is his timid younger brother Stephen who loves her! As always, Goudge's story is more about the internal and spiritual lives of her characters and the landscape in which they dwell than about what happens to them. The horrors of war challenge the courage and optimism of the people Goudge represents so vividly.

  • Polly
    2019-03-14 14:15

    A fine book, although less fine than many other books by this author. It's also more depressing, being set in 1940 in England, whereas most of her books are set either before the twentieth century, or just after WWII, when things are tough but with the prospect of getting better. The characters in this book keep reminding themselves of Dunkirk as the only hopeful sign they can think of, and they are constantly on alert for an invasion force. Yet they mostly manage to find hope and peace and happiness, albeit not (in most cases) the particular happiness they hoped for. Most of Elizabeth Goudge's books are about faith in God, and how it can either increase or make up for the lack of earthly happiness but this one is even more so than most.

  • Heather
    2019-03-19 11:48

    A WWII story that reminded me of Rilla of Ingleside and had potential. I have enjoyed other books by Elizabeth Goudge which is why I picked this one up from the local used bookstore but I don't see myself wanting to revisit this one more than once. The first 90 pages (or nearly 1/3 of the book!!) all take place in the span of one day, setting the scene and background to some of the main characters. Honestly, the POV bounced around too much to determine a MAIN character which was annoying. The book was big on sentiment and stirring up encouraging emotion, for good reason, having been written and published in the midst of a terrible time in history but it seemed to make the book dated to me, though I have read quite a few other books which take place during WWII that stayed with me longer.

  • Nelia
    2019-03-04 12:51

    This beautifully written novel takes place in England during the Second World War and was published during the Second World War. The author's description of her characters' thoughts and emotions draws you into their lives in a manner that few other authors are able to achieve. Over the years, I've read several Elizabeth Goudge books, but I had never heard of this one, and I would have to say, it is my favorite. There is tragedy, but ultimately, triumph.

  • Katherine
    2019-03-13 07:04

    Elizabeth Goudge had a gift for understanding the human heart and she never fails to move me with her words and stories. This novel deals with some difficult subjects--war, fear, despair, hopelessness--and Goudge handles them with unusual compassion and sensitivity. As always, her faith and love of God shine through her fiction, bringing enlightenment and hope to her characters, and to her readers as well. I closed this one thinking, Oh wow, she did it again!

  • Kathleen Dixon
    2019-03-02 06:59

    This was published in 1940-something, and the writing is very 40s. Nevertheless, it is quite delightful, with Miss Brown the prim spinster; Jo Iverson the down-and-out musician; the Bisley family; and the two evacuee children.I read this while I was on holiday on Norfolk Island, and am entering it on Goodreads some 8 years later, so I don't actually remember it. But I had recorded that little snippet above.

  • Mimi
    2019-03-01 13:58

    More a character study than an plot driven novel, this quiet and slow story takes us to the English Countryside during World War II, involving a spinster (who is the same age as me, and yet manages to have perfect skin belying her age - rolls eyes), two orphans being moved out of London, the heirs of a Castle, and a homeless musician.

  • Heidi
    2019-03-11 06:12

    In some ways an old-fashioned story but the characters are so well written and ring true today. Fascinating to read a book about the experience of WW2 that was written before the ending was certain.

  • Robina Fox
    2019-02-23 07:08

    This novel is set in rural England during the Second World War. Like most of Miss Goudge's books, it is very much concerned with the tension between duty and inclination, with people doing their best and trying to be kind and honest. The central character, Miss Brown, is a gentle nondescript woman in her 40s, who takes a job as housekeeper to an historian and finds herself caring for evacuees.

  • Melissa
    2019-02-20 08:09

    Not as good as some of her other books. A bit wordy.At first I thought it was going to be a tribute to the British upper class, but it ended up being about the effects of WWII on the English population and a tribute to the English spirit. Published in 1942 and the author lived in an area of England she wrote about. It was interesting to read about life during the air war.

  • Kristin
    2019-03-09 10:52

    Miss Brown goes to work at the Castle for the Birleys. Moppet and Poppet come to stay in the countryside because the war is going on. Everyone's lives conveniently turn out for the good or bad by the end of the story.

  • Kim
    2019-03-18 11:14

    Another wonderful find...this book is out of print, I believe. Beautifully written story with amazing character development. It takes place during WWII, but it's not a war story, it's a life story. Lovely.

  • Sue
    2019-03-19 05:50

    Compulsive reading set in the war years, featuring a middle-aged woman who has lost her home in the war, and a Jewish refugee musician. There are also two delightful small London evacuees. Compulsive reading with the horrors of war sensitively handled.

  • Margareth8537
    2019-03-03 13:04

    Loved this book at the time and got so involved in all the characters

  • Becky
    2019-02-26 12:03

    Elizabeth paints a picture you will never forget.

  • LDuchess
    2019-02-21 10:49

    Original 1942 edition...England during the early years of WW II. BEAUTIFUL writing.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-23 12:12

    Not bad, but don't normally go for anything with such romantic undertones

  • Rieta
    2019-02-25 08:59

    Some pages of this books I just had to read aloud to my husband. Not many books make me want to do that.