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Pilgrim's Inn

(The Eliots of Damerosehay #2)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,442 ratings  ·  166 reviews
After WW II, Lucilla Eliot's soldier son George and his beautiful wife Nadine lived with their five children. They acquired an ancient pilgrim's inn on the river, that touches not only its new owners but also those strangers who stop there for a rest on their pilgrimages.

Sally Adair had never seen this face before, but as she studied the unfinished portrait of David Eliot,
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 21st 2013 by Amereon Limited (first published 1948)
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Lancia Yes, Herb of Grace is the British title for this book.

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Feb 21, 2011 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
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
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Beth Bonini
”Increasingly, as she lived here, Nadine had a feeling that this house had a personality of its own - some sort of great angel who grew with the growth of the house and was enriched or otherwise, by those who lived here; and she felt, too, that this angel was well-disposed to her.”

The second of the Eliot Chronicles is about ‘The Herb of Grace’ - an ancient Pilgrim’s Inn which becomes the home of Nadine and George Eliot and their five children. In the first third of the book, it feels like this w
Philippa N
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Sometimes one discovers an author or work that compels you to read from cover to cover repeatedly. Pilgrim's Inn, I feel, is in that category. It is the first, and thus far the only, of Elizabeth Goudge's writings that I have read and I did worry that I may have spoilt this series by unwittingly jumping in with the second novel. However, her poetic descriptions of place, time and sentiment transcend the story itself. I anticipate visiting this book again, and again, if only to lose myself in its ...more
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinary fiction. If you haven't read Goudge yet, you need to start with this trilogy. No fluffy romance here. Real people with real problems and no simple solutions. Yet the outcome is satisfying.
Julie  Durnell
Jan 03, 2016 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.
Kirrily Lowe
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A richly beautiful, deep, freeing, redemptive and quietly impacting book! It was a timely read for me. Loved it!
Ness Kingsley
I think that I would've enjoyed this more if I'd a) read it at a slower pace and b) not gulped the whole thing down in one reading. (Those are almost the same thing but ... I digress.)

I both loved and partially disliked (I'm the kind of reader who wants ONE character to get behind and root for - several? WHO AM I SUPPOSED TO CHEER FOR? ALL OF THEM?! [Yes.]) the way the characters were all so very human. They all had flaws and it was both delicious and frustrating to read.

I think that the cover o
Pamela Shropshire
Thanks to Goodreads and Facebook, I’ve connected with other readers of all ages and from all over the world. And through these connections, I’ve learned of books and authors I would probably never have heard of otherwise. Elizabeth Goudge is one such author.

I belong to several book clubs on FB; a year ago, one of these book club friends mentioned Pilgrim’s Inn, saying that she tries to read it every Christmas. Instead of acquiring Pilgrim’s Inn then, I ordered The Dean’s Watch which became my fi
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely story! Goudge's writing is very beautiful and charming. It has such as soothing, comforting quality to it that is reminiscent of L.M. Montgomery in a way, but less whimsical and with more depth of feeling. Glad to revisit the Eliot family and loved the new setting of the "Pilgrim's Inn: Herb of Grace" which is just as romantic and dreamy as Dameroshay.

The addition of Sally and her artist father was interesting, as was Malony and Annie Laurie the two "care takers" with a troubled p
Mar 30, 2008 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
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
May 04, 2016 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
Sally Ewan
Oct 09, 2011 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
Kellyn Roth
Reread 5/23/2020:

Somehow this doesn't capture the magic of the first book, but it's still a great read. Some of Eliot's themes and opinions are so very Edwardian, and it cracks me up. She's basically looking at all the intuitives of the world and classing them above the sensors - but sensors have a great deal to give, too, and I think sometimes she only sees that as the earthy, worldly things when really ... well, I could go on. But her view on creatives has always interested me. I feel bad for
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Paula Gee
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
One of my favourite Elizabeth Goudge books. Lovely, literate, caring, but not easy Christian fiction is what this is. There is romance and happiness, but also a great deal of pain and sorrow. And I would write more, but there's a kitten chewing on my arm!
Jun 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Wish that I had read the trilogy in order! Begin with "The Bird in the Tree" for a complete picture.
The second book in the Eliots of Damerosehay trilogy.

The alternate title of this novel, The Herb of Grace is so much more descriptive and fitting. Nadine and George Eliot, almost on a whim coupled with a strong push from Lucilla, buy an old inn to make into a home for their family. The inn, originally a hostel for pilgrims, called the "Herb of Grace" has deep roots in the past and the spirit of the place has the ability to change each of their lives in meaningful ways, healing what is broken or
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely, gentle story set in southern England in the years following WWII. The main characters are an extended family of three generations having a kind but controlling matriarch, Lucilla. She sees that some of the middle generation are going through various crises and tries to engineer things so that, from her point of view, all these problems will be remedied. She knows that a local inn is to be sold and believes that by getting her son, daughter-in-law and their five children out of ...more
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Emma Hinkle
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, owned
Wonderful book. One of my favorites.
I wish I could give this more than five stars.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a gem of a book. You can't rush this one, you have to slow down and savour it. My only complaint is that I need a novel about each and every character in it as they are so beautifully drawn.
Julia Blake
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book made me so happy. A perfectly beautiful story.
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Elizabeth Goudge was an English author of novels, short stories and children's books.

Elizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge was born on 24 April 1900 in Wells, Somerset, in Tower House close by the cathedral in an area known as The Liberty, Her father, the Reverend Henry Leighton Goudge, taught in the cathedral school. Her mother was Miss Ida Collenette from the Channel Isles. Elizabeth was an only child.

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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November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
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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.”
“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.” 7 likes
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