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Green Dolphin Street

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  902 ratings  ·  111 reviews
A haunting love story set in the Channel Islands and New Zealand in the 19th century.

William, whose hypnotic, masculine presence made two women adore him... of Marianne, moody, passionate, brilliant, by whom William was both fascinated and repelled... of Marguerite, Marianne's beautiful sister whom William wanted with all his heart.

They had both loved him for years. Now th
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published June 1st 2000 by Buccaneer Books (first published 1944)
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As soon as Marianne sets her eyes on William Ozanne, after his father finally returns to his birthplace, she also sets her cap for him. From that very moment she realizes that she is meant for him, and that she would mold him into exactly the man she wants him to be. However, her sister Marguerite falls in love with him as well, a pure, giving love that asks for nothing in return. After emigrating to New Zealand to make a new life for himself as an adult, he writes home to ask his love to join h ...more
Well, I haven't finished this. I can't right now, and I may never. Too painful.

Baby, I finished the book, and I'm sorry you weren't here with me for the ending. It ended as well as it began, but, like real life, with some sadness picked up along the journey that we have to carry with us.

I want to trumpet as much as I can the greatness of this book. Truly a forgotten classic. At times I thought I was reading Dickens. I don't know why this book isn't huge. You can see by the ratings it's good - ha
Oct 09, 2009 Christy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Christy by: Marilyn Allen
In your typical love story, girl meets boy and they fall in love, but some obstacle springs up, such as a misunderstanding, or another woman. Eventually the obstacle is overcome, however, and they declare their love and live happily ever after. But what if things don’t work out that way? What if the boy hopelessly botches things and accidentally marries the wrong girl? Can it still be a love story? Green Dolphin Street is tender, funny, wrenching, and vivid, and it will weave its exquisite spell ...more
Cynthia Haggard
Is it Marianne, or Marguerite? Poor William could never remember the names of the two sisters, even though they had very different personalities.
Marianne was a fiery independent woman, who would not have been out of place in the 21st century. Her gentle sister Marguerite had more old-fashioned qualities. When William had successfully made a life for himself in New Zealand, he decided to write home to St. Pierre in Guernsey, and ask for the hand of the woman he loved. The woman he loved was gent
This is my all time favorite book. Good luck finding a copy, though. It is out of print. I checked it out from the Orem Library but it has since gone missing. I bought a used copy off of Amazon.

Interesting fact--this book was made into a movie in the 40s, I think, staring Donna Read, Lana Turner, Van Heflen. It has some early cinematographic attempts at portraying an earthquake. It is reasonable good.

I read it first in the 90s but reread it about a year ago. Still as good as I remember it. Don't
Rachanalski Srodzinski
This book is an absolute gem. I have read it COUNTLESS times and each time I read it again I fall into the world in its pages and find it hard to come out on the last page. The characters make you fall in love with them, or hate them... this sounds like a fairly generic statement but rarely do I feel anything when reading a book, this one was most certainly an exception. Marianne, marguerite ... so much could be said about them, I feel that the emotions of the characters was expressed PERFECTLY. ...more
This book was referred to me by my dear college roomie Diane, who was killed in an auto accident this past January. She happened to randomly mention it in one of our few Facebook exchanges. I decided to request it from the library and received a 1944 edition (possible 1st edition). It was a very interesting read. Although a fictional storyline it is based on the true experience of a man in the 1800's, writing to the father of his childhood sweetheart, asking that she be allowed to join him as wi ...more
Absolutely amazing book about two sisters and the man who loves them both. It spans more than fifty years, and at the end you really feel that you've experienced their lives with them. Goudge writes beautiful descriptions of nature and has a real understanding of human frailty. I'm still reeling from the strong emotions the book inspired.
Favorite Book!
May 07, 2011 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Starting a new book on my Mom’s birthday, I chose one of her favourites. She’d always recommended Green Dolphin Street but I’d just never got around to it, until now. Written in 1944, it’s a slower and more sentimental style that what I usually read, but it’s lovely and the narratives are beautiful. This epic novel has everything – cradle to grave family saga, love and betrayal, faith and sacrifice, adventure and natural disasters.
On the Channel Islands in the mid 1800’s, Marianne and Marguerite
Elizabeth Goudge places a short blurb at the beginning of her novel admitting that she has never been to New Zealand and apologizing for any inaccuracies she may have provided as she set a large part of her novel’s action in this country. I have never been to New Zealand either, but I think Goudge’s descriptions of the countryside, cities, history, and culture of New Zealand are not only beautiful and convincing, but also the strongest parts of this lengthy, detailed novel. Of course, I also lo ...more
What a good, interesting book!

This book follows the lives of many people and whatever way they relate to Green Dolphin Street. IT covers the span of about 50 years as you go through the difficult, yet beautiful lives of the three main characters (All Green Dolphin Street natives) you find yourself going through many journeys you did not expect. Goudge does not sugarcoat things. At times you are so frustrated with the characters and the mistakes they've made you want to throw the book against the
Mary Alice
whew, I finally finished this. I'm a slow reader and this seemed like an epic feat. For 20 years, a friend has been telling me to read this--not usually the kind of book I read. It was good. Even though I didn't love it, the characters will stay with me.

I don't know, but I think the long suffering husband needed to put the self-centered wife in her place long before he did.

I'd like to see the movie. Definitely was movie material.

Product Description
Elizabeth Goudge (1900-1984) was a prolific Br
Jan 26, 2008 Diane rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who like historical novels where place is a character
Recommended to Diane by: Donna Daniels
At the end of Green Dolphin Street, I closed the cover feeling satisfied and content with the story. This is an older novel, written in the 40's. It feels very similar to Daphne Du Maurier and Josephine Tey as it unfolds a tale of two sisters and the boy down the street raised on a small island in the North Atlantic, following their lives from their island to the islands of New Zealand and beyond. Clipper ships, pioneering, the peaks and valleys of their lives. Green Dolphin Street was intriguin ...more
Rosemary Morris
I am a fan of the works of Elizabeth Goudge. Over the years they have given me great pleasure.

The sisters Margeuerite and Marrianne and their friend William are believable and the most minor characters have memorable personalities.

In the author's own words: "Though this book is fiction, and the characters not portraits, it is based on fact. that a man, who had emigrated to the New World should after a lapse of years write home for a bride, and then get the wrong one because he had confused her n
I finally finished Green Dolphin Street. I can't believe it took me two months to read it. It is a long book but not hard to read at all. The writing is beautiful (though the edition I read had absolutely horribly editing). The story is a long one that goes from the childhood to the old age of the three main characters. It is an adventurous tale and very profound. However, I, at times, found the characters rather annoying! So occasionally I put the book down and gave myself a break from their ma ...more
This book is not for the casual reader. It's a classic love story about two sisters, Marianne and Marguerite, in love with the same man. After many years and several continents separate them, the two sisters reunite in old age. The book is very long and descriptive, having been published in 1944. It is somewhat reminiscent of A Tale of Two Cities, and also, of Gone with the Wind. Read it when you have the time to lose yourself in a great story.
Beautifully written. So many bits of wisdom that unfortunately I didn't highlight. I thought I'd mark them the next time I read it. However, I don't think I'll read it again soon because although it was only 500 pages, I think the type is extra small and the lines single spaced because this book took me forever to read! I would only get through 10 pages a night before I was exhausted, even though I was loving the story!

I wasn't sure how I could like a book where a man is compelled to marry a wom
Jul 20, 2007 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Mom
I first read this as a teenager and it became one of my all time favorite books. I decided to reread it to see if I still felt the same way and I have to say, that 30-some years later, it's as wonderful as I remembered. Her writing is so lovely and descriptive in a way we don't often see any more, but some how not in an old fashioned way as you might suspect. It's a lavish, historical love story and I loved every minute of it. It's the type of book that's written so well, that you feel if it we ...more
One of the characters in the book, Captain O'Hara, has the best quote in the book: There's much that goes into the making of a man...the places he lands, the people he rubs up against, and the things he don't get. This story is about Marianne, Marguerite, and William - Adventurer, Saint, Lover - and how what they don't get shapes them and their lives. Set in the mid-1800s, the book paints a wonderful picture of the world at that time, and New Zealand in particular. The story is interesting (not ...more
This exact copy as pictured, with a light green hardcover is still sitting in my Dad's dormer room (he is now 94 years old, the book not that many lol). It is within a shelving case with maybe 50 others of that era. All hardcover, and many of them written in the years before, of or just after WWII. I gave the Gone with the Wind to my oldest Granddaughter some years ago. Green Dolphin Street was just a few volumes away from it and an old copy of Exodus. Captains Courageous is up there too.

I didn't love this as much as several other Goudges I have read. It's so very long, & basically I didn't find Marianne a convincing, coherent character. Too much disjunction between her child self & the rest of her life - & way too little self-awareness for someone so intelligent. She starts out like Anne of Green Gables & abruptly becomes Scarlett O'Hara. Ugh.

There are also some weird intimations of immortal souls that are joined in some mystical (romantic) way. That doesn't fit
This book really deserves 4&1/2 stars, but there's no option for that. This was my first book by Elizabeth Goudge, and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was impressed. I had mistakenly expected any book by Elizabeth Goudge to be dry, old-fashioned, and preachey. Not so!

Her characters, although they were admittedly slightly old fashioned, were comfortable and endearing. They were colorful and well-developed--possibly more introspective than necessary, but fascinatingly so. My only complaint w
Ana Maria
Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!
I've always felt as strong as Scarlett O'Hara, but Marianne is an even stronger woman. She may have trampled down many people, but she fought really hard to be happy. As I said: I loved it!.
Kathleen Dixon
I think I'm getting impatient with age. I've lived more than half my life now and am more and more aware that there are Far Too Many Books To Read for me to spend time on one when I would rather be reading another. Elizabeth Goudge wrote really well - I love her descriptions and her characterisations. However, I didn't like either William or Marianne enough to care about their life in New Zealand, so I skipped a huge chunk of the book and picked it back up just a few chapters before the end beca ...more
I think this is known as a kind of epic novel, but somehow I was never able to get into it. It has a very intersting premise: young man who has emigrated to New Zealand sends back to the Old World for a bride and names the wrong sister. Also, it tries to make a profound point about love of place, love of people, and love of God. Still, I thought the characters were pretty flat. The portrait of the main characters' home island (somewhere between England and France) was pretty interesting, but the ...more
Rachael Thompson
One of the few books that has held my attention to the end in the last five years. The plot was so aggravating that I had to keep reading, and the writing was vivid.
Wonderful book about the subtle, long-term rewards of living an honourable life
May have to find this at the libray; I think I found mine at a used book store. The copyright is 1944! A fabulous classic story of a man who falls in love with one of two sisters, but he sails away to Austraila to make his fortune and then writes home requesting that she join him, and writes the wrong name (because he never could keep them straight) and the wrong sister shows up on the dock! Of course, she (the other sister was always in love with him too. It sounds funny, but it really isn't. J ...more
I loved this book! Great story of two sisters, Marianne and Marguerite, set in the Channel Islands, and New Zealand. Has adventure, romance, sea captains, Maiori people,and more. It was written in 1944, and I saw a movie based on the book, as a young girl of 12 or 13 and never forgot it. After reading the book, I see the movie followed the book very well, and I'm glad I read it. Ms. Goudge writes beautifully, and you feel as though you can see the sea, smell the flowers, and feel the emotions ru ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Correct # of pages 3 25 Sep 02, 2013 07:29AM  
Book Loving Kiwis: Green Dolphin Country 8 15 Sep 09, 2012 11:46PM  
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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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“Nothing living should ever be treated with contempt. Whatever it is that lives, a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently, because the time is short. Civilization is another word for respect for life...” 46 likes
“[I]f you believe in God omnipresent, then you must believe everything that comes into your life, person or event, must have something of God in it to be experienced and loved; not hated.” 15 likes
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