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The Castle on the Hill
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The Castle on the Hill

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  134 ratings  ·  17 reviews
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 spin
Christchurch Edition
Published January 1st 1986 by Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (first published 1941)
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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,
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 o
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 f ...more
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,
Robina Fox
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.
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 lo ...more
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 happ ...more
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some pages of this books I just had to read aloud to my husband. Not many books make me want to do that.
Original 1942 edition...England during the early years of WW II. BEAUTIFUL writing.
Not bad, but don't normally go for anything with such romantic undertones
Loved this book at the time and got so involved in all the characters
Elizabeth paints a picture you will never forget.
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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
More about Elizabeth Goudge...
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“There always comes, I think, a sort of peak in suffering at which either you win over your pain or your pain wins over you, according as to whether you can, or cannot, call up that extra ounce of endurance that helps you to break through the circle of yourself and do the hitherto impossible. That extra ounce carries you through 'le dernier quart d' heure.' Psychologist have a name for it, I believe. Christians call it the Grace of God.” 10 likes
“...whatever happens I'll not be afraid again; for, when you've once pushed through the place of torment to the peace beyond, you know that you can do it again. You know there's a strength somewhere that you can call upon. You've confidence.” 5 likes
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