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The Herb of Grace (The Eliots of Damerosehay #2)

4.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  756 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
The second novel in Elizabeth Goudge's trilogy about the Eliot family, Pilgrim's Inn (AKA The Herb of Grace) takes up their story after WW II, but focuses on Lucilla's soldier son George, his beautiful wife Nadine and their five children. At the heart of the story is their acquisition of an ancient pilgrim's inn on the river. Under the author's skillful hand the inn develo ...more
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published 1968 by Hodder and Stoughton (first published 1948)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,216)
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Bronwen
Feb 21, 2011 Bronwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I will start a bookshelf containing books that I know I will want to reread repeatedly throughout my life. The books on this shelf will be there because I've found that when I'm in a certain mood, only this book (or author sometimes) will do. It will place Gerard Manley Hopkins and Henry James next to Megan Whalen Turner and Robin McKinley with plenty of room for Dorothy Sayers. And Elizabeth Goudge will be there too. Sometimes what I like most about a book is the atmosphere it creates. ...more
Hana
The year is 1947 or thereabouts. Britain has won the war, but at such a cost. Many men return from the war with physical and mental scars, trying to 'get on with their lives' but finding that the old roles no longer fit, that the world is still filled with the horrors of the camps, the refugees, the terrible new weapons, unspeakable things. The women, too, have borne burdens--waiting for news of sons and grandsons, fearing and sometimes hearing the worst, or trying to piece together marriages an ...more
Carolyn45
Dec 18, 2008 Carolyn45 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually read this book at Christmas. I love it so much that I bought several used copies (it is an old book) and distributed them. I don't know why - but the messages of this book bring peace to my soul - as it should, as the book is about inner peace and living and making choices for the right reasons. The end of the book has a great Christmas sequence. The book takes place right after WWII which apeals to me not only because my parents were young then, but it describes well what we feel abou ...more
Julie  Durnell
Jan 12, 2016 Julie Durnell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england-uk
The second installment of the Eliot Family Trilogy was just as entertaining as the first book, A Bird in the Tree. This one was quite magical in the setting of Herb of Grace house and the mysterious wood it borders. Elizabeth Goudge is a masterful weaver of story, setting, and character relationships.
Angela
May 16, 2016 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book took me a little longer to get through - it's a very contemplative, thoughtful, deep, speak-to-your-soul novel. It's not the plot that makes it a 5 star, rewarding read because there's not a whole lot to it; it's Goudge's depth of writing. She takes her time in developing her story, her characters, and the ideas that she wants to convey.

To me, this story is about the home - a place of refuge, of beauty, of inspiration, of acceptance, of growth, of solace. It speaks of slowing down, ap
...more
Naomi
Jan 01, 2014 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just re-read this old childhood favorite after a pause of some 25 years. When I first read it, I loved the characters, their developing relationships, and the house, the Herb of Grace Inn. I loved the plot--buying an idyllic home in an idyllic setting and being healed by it. The successful retreat from conflict--the massive and terrible conflict of WWII. I loved the allusions to The Wind in the Willows, and especially the depiction of the Christmas season. I also loved the moral orientation: the ...more
Kirrily Lowe
May 23, 2013 Kirrily Lowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A richly beautiful, deep, freeing, redemptive and quietly impacting book! It was a timely read for me. Loved it!
Jeanette
Aug 25, 2013 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Luscious Elizabeth Goudge writing from the middle of the last century. It is like a cold drink of water after hours of bicycling in 90 plus degree heat- or after trudging up a desert trail to some look out point without a drop for days. To me. The pace, the humane time for peoples' quirks, all of it. It demands attention and the opposite of quick or instant story gratification. Modern novel writing and especially commercial best seller, now- it is nearly the antithesis of this kind of story tell ...more
Andrealitchfield
Jan 27, 2009 Andrealitchfield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone 12 and up
This is another book I read over and over. Along with "The Bird in the Tree" and "The Heart of the Family" this book tells the story of the Eliot family of England, and their homes they make, that in turn, make them through the generations. If nothing else, read the description of Meg Eliot and her dog ,Mouse, as they squelch their way down the driveway in the opening paragraphs of "The heart of the family." If you can't see, hear and smell that delightful scene, I'll eat my hat!
Goudge is a ma
...more
Phillip
Nov 19, 2010 Phillip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the series Elizabeth Goudge wrote on 'the Eliots of Damerosehay'[22 points to anyone who can come up with a definitive pronunciation of 'Damerosehay.'] I read it first based on a friend's recommendation that it was his favorite book by Ms. Goudge; also upon the the fact that her books are pretty scarce to find and yet, this one happened to be sitting on the shelf of a second hand bookshop in Dallas. I am egotistical enough to believe that it was placed there specifical ...more
Rebekah
Jul 17, 2009 Rebekah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The happy ending of this book, revolving around the Christmas season, made it exceptional in my mind. It really took the book, otherwise, another enjoyable read from Goudge, to a deeply touching, nostalgic place. Uncovering long lost art, discovery of the true meaning of "home is where the heart is" and taking a chance on love that ultimately leads to healing and happiness unbeknown before. All so beautifully written together to tell the story of an imperfect family that finds healing in a new h ...more
Sally
Oct 09, 2011 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A story about a family battered by the war, whose move to a country home brings healing to their various stresses and strains. The home had previously functioned as an inn for pilgrims in medieval times, and the spirit of warmth and comfort is felt by all who enter. The main characters are a husband and wife and their five children, another couple, a famous painter and his adult daughter, and an actor who is a relative of the first family. Goudge does an excellent job of creating characters and ...more
Kathy Weitz
Mar 23, 2014 Kathy Weitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing my Elizabeth Goudge mini-binge (no, I really shouldn't be doing this in the school year!)

Favorite quotes:

. . . it was home-making that mattered. Every home was a brick in the great wall of decent living that men erected over and over again as a bulwark against the perpetual flooding in of evil. But women made the bricks, and the durableness of each civilisation depended upon their quality; and it was no good weakening oneself for the brick-making by thinking too much about the flood.
...more
Susan
Feb 11, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rarely reread books, but I could read this one over and over. It is the life-affirming, slightly mystical, and God-infused story of a family that falls in love with an ancient English inn. I love that the characters are real people with real problems, not saints. If you're tired of dark, despairing books that tell you that life is futile, read this one to uplift your spirit. I also recommend all other titles by Elizabeth Goudge.
Fran
Aug 30, 2007 Fran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls who like old cloth-bound books
I've read this book every few years since I was a tween. It was a gift to my mother from a friend she met at Girl Scout camp - the inscription is from 1960. If you're looking for a story with many scenes of pleasant English nature, lots of jam, and a few heavy-handed morals, this is the book for you. That makes it sound horrible, but it's very nice.
Linda
An oldie/goodie, published in 1948. I first read it in the early 60’s, and seem to remember that there is a sequel or prequel, but I can’t find it now. The troubled Eliot family moves from London to an old inn which they restore and run. There is a deep sense of peace there, even with the five children, including a set of twins who are challenging to say the least. To the inn come a portrait painter, John Adair and his daughter Sally, as guests, and a young girl and her father, Annie Laurie and ...more
Paula Gee
Jun 18, 2009 Paula Gee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: probably women who love a good tale
Recommended to Paula by: i discovered it in the library
I've read this book almost every year for the past 20 years and still get warm and fuzzy when reading it! Something about E. Goudge's books speak to me. I want to be part of the family! She can describe old houses and children like no one else.
Nan
Jun 26, 2008 Nan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Wish that I had read the trilogy in order! Begin with "The Bird in the Tree" for a complete picture.
Kelly
I wish I could give this more than five stars.
The Bookwyrm's Hoard
This lovely novel of healing and grace is one of my favorite Goudge books. The novel brims with Goudge’s characteristic compassionate understanding of human frailty and her ability to capture the spirit of place.

When George Eliot and his children tour the Herb of Grace, a historic riverside inn now up for sale, they fall in love immediately – as immediately and completely as Sally Adair had fallen in love with David Eliot, George’s cousin. Years ago, David and George’s wife Nadine had fallen hop
...more
Carl
Mar 18, 2013 Carl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of searching relational books (maybe Brontes, Alcott and Montgomery, somewhere in between them)
Shelves: edited
I read Pilgrim's Inn, as I did Bird in the Tree, while I was typesetting and proofing them for Hendrickson Publishers, where I am Associate Editor. A number of the previous reviews have noted that this book is hard to find, so I'm really glad to be part of the team reprinting and republishing it.

The story is a complex one, thematically and narratively, and builds on the events of Bird in the Tree. The Eliot family has weathered World War II with the rest of Europe, and much of the story details
...more
Lori
Jul 18, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pilgrim's Inn continues the story of the Eliot family who we first met in The Bird in the Tree. In the first book, Damerosehay, the Eliot home, was a central, healing character in the story. In this book, the Herb of Grace, an ancient pilgrim's inn, is the focus. Through the restoration of this home, its occupents are welcomed, warmed and healed. Elizabeth Goudge has such a lovely sense of the spiritual without becoming the least bit preachy. I have underlined whole paragraphs and sometimes just ...more
Ellie
Feb 10, 2015 Ellie rated it it was amazing
I love this book...... The time frame is different to most of the books I've read (after the war instead of during) and I felt like an intimate acquaintance of the family. Almost as if I was in the book, my clairvoyance allowing scrupulous insight into their lives. I love the whole idea of the Herb of Grace. I recently moved into a lovely old house and this book captures how I feel in so many ways. Elizabeth Goudge's work never fails to impress me.
Phyllis
Jul 25, 2013 Phyllis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I have read perhaps five or six times, a book I turn to, for some reason or another, for comfort. It isn't a great novel; the author's style has not worn terribly well and the book is really not one for the ages. But its story is quite compelling, the characters are vividly drawn in such a way that we care about them, and the sensibility of the author, beyond the level of mere style, is deep and searching. One reason I value this novel is that it is such a strong evocation of post ...more
Elizabeth J Allen
This book, of all I've ever read, is most dear to me. Goudge's writing is beautiful beyond words, and she strikes upon things that are incredibly beautiful . . . This book has helped me heal and given me peace. It's beyond words. I adore and respect Goudge for this book, and the others of hers that I'm in the process of reading. The lady herself must have bee someone worth meeting if this is what she writes.
Cricket Muse
Apr 10, 2016 Cricket Muse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like the Inn of the story, the continuing saga of the Eliots welcomes a person with open arms to enter and stay awhile. There is an undeniable satisfaction when reading a story that draws one in to full absorption. The sequel continues to explore the complicated lives, loves, joys and sorrows of Lucilla, David, and Nadine. The inclusion of the Adairs and the others who round out the plot add, instead of detract, from the theme of redemption and grace. Having read the book twenty years ago, I rem ...more
Michele
Feb 15, 2008 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Pilgrim's Inn is the middle book in Elizabeth Goudge's Eliot family trilogy. It focuses on George & Nadine & their five children. Lucilla, George's mother, is determined they should buy an old medieval inn near her home in the country. This is accomplished despite Nadine's stringent objections; she is thoroughly a city type. The children are thrilled at the move & thrive in the freedom, fresh air & better food available. The plot encompasses Nadine's forbidden love of her husband ...more
Margaret
Apr 28, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I first read this book when I was in my twenties. This is the third or fourth time I have read it. I can give no reason for why I like it so much since it is about people that surely never existed in post WWII Britain. These people go around spouting poetry and are all suffering from the malaise of the time and lost or wrong loves, but boy can Elizabeth Goudge draw pictures with words.
Gail Miller
Jan 27, 2013 Gail Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book before, but pulled it down again earlier this month for the comfort and beauty of the writing and the characters. I like all the people in this book, even though they are too good to be true. Gouge creates characters that have an old- fashioned, very English sort of uprightness, much like Lewis' characters in Chronicles of Narnia, which I find strengthening.
I also love all her beautiful descriptions and rootedness in a particular place, in this case, the lovely Pilgrim's I
...more
Carolyn
Second book about three generations of the Eliot family after World War II. A wonderful depiction of the time - the aftereffects of war and tribulation. I love this series for it's light, integral discussion of a relationship relying on God as a normal part of their lives, as well as a reliance of morality/ethics as a way of life. I reread the series once a year to recharge my spiritual batteries.

I read this book first and then read the first and third. I loved the discovery and recovery of the
...more
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Elizabeth Goudge was an English author of romance novels, short stories and children's books.

Elizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge was born on 24 April 1900 in the cathedral city of Wells, she moved with her family to Ely when her father, a clergyman, was transferred there. When her father, Henry Leighton Goudge, was made Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, the family left Ely and went to Christ Churc
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More about Elizabeth Goudge...

Other Books in the Series

The Eliots of Damerosehay (3 books)
  • The Bird in the Tree (Eliots of Damerosehay, #1)
  • The Heart of the Family (Eliots of Damerosehay, #3)

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“John Adair had little liking for the simple life; he said it was not simple, but the most damnably complicated method of wasting time that had every existed. He liked a constant supply of hot water, a refrigerator, an elevator, an electric toaster, a telephone beside his bed, central heating and electric fires, and anything whatever that reduced the time spent upon the practical side of living to a minimum and left him free to paint.
But Sally [his daughter] did not want to be set free for anything, for it was living itself that she enjoyed. She liked lighting a real fire of logs and fir cones, and toasting bread on an old-fashioned toaster. And she liked the lovely curve of an old staircase and the fun of running up and down it. And she vastly preferred writing a letter and walking with it to the post to using the telephone and hearing with horror her voice committing itself to things she would never have dreamed of doing if she'd had the time to think. "It's my stupid brain," she said to herself. "I like the leisurely things, and taking my time about them. That's partly why I like children so much, I think. They're never in a hurry to get on to something else.”
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“The dawn came - not the flaming sky that promises storm, but a golden dawn of infinite promise. The birds came flying up out of the east in wedge-shaped formation, and the mist lifted in soft wreaths of sun-shot silver. Colour came back to the world. The grass glowed with a green so vivid that it seemed pulsing, like flame, from some hidden fire in the earth, the distant woods took on all the amazing deep crimsons and purples of their winter colouring, the banks were studded with their jewels of lichens and bright moss, and above the wet hedges shone with sun-shot orbs of light.” 3 likes
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