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Green Dolphin Street

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,657 ratings  ·  222 reviews
Vivid, exciting tales earthquakes, shipwreck, encounters between New Zealand settlers and the indigenous Maori people are paired with fascinating details of 19th-century life, from sailing ships and steamboats to women s fashions and the natural beauty of the British seacoast and the mountains and forests of New Zealand.

When Marianne LePatourel meets William Ozanne in the
Paperback, 571 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Hendrickson Publishers (first published 1944)
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Kit Kelley Yes. I am reading it now. Ebook checked out FREE from the library at
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  1,657 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

While there is a lot wrong with this book, there is so much that is right!

The Le Pastourel sisters, growing up in the picturesque town of St Pierre in Guernsey,

are separated by more than the five year age gap. Marguerite is sweet, sunny & good natured, Marianne is highly intelligent, passionate and strong willed. Both become infatuated with newcomer,William. Does a handsome face and boundless good nature make him a worthy choice for either sister? (view spoiler)
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A long time ago, when I made the transition from junior to senior member of the library, my mother steered me towards a number of authors whose books she loved and that she thought I might love too. I read some of them then, I read some of them later, but it was years before I began to read Elizabeth Goudge, who I knew was a particular favourite.

Her books didn't appeal to me at all back in the day, and when their author fell out of fashion and her books disappeared from the library shelves I
classic reverie
Where to start...... Well I suppose the first time while looking up books based on classic movies I have seen, I came across Elizabeth Goudge's Green Dolphin Street which I put on my to read list but hoping a Kindle edition would be available, alas it did and years later decide to read it now. I will add in my spoiler section differences between the movie and the novel, that might ruin the story, if you decide to read this wonderful story. Though the movie was based on the novel, besides the ...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 -
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Abigayle Claire
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's not possible to write a sufficient review on this book. It's such a strangely unique story. From unusual characters, to the setting of British Isles, to the incredibly descriptive theme of love, the entire piece is a wonder.

I enjoyed following such deftly written characters throughout their entire lives. Both their literal and spiritual journeys were creative and interesting, yet they got to the very essence of humanity. And I feel like every single essence was touched on: the fairytale of
Abigail Hartman
I came away from this novel...vaguely confused. In some ways I enjoyed it very much, and in others I was left with a sensation of, "Ha ha, wait, what?" Therefore, the thing to do is clearly to take a page out of Cait's playbook and make lists (and anyway, lists are more fun to read).


1. Despite the fact that there was so much of it that I did, admittedly, skim through a few paragraphs here and there, the descriptions are beautiful. Whether talking about the Channel island or New
Luisa Knight
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's been a week since I finished this book, and even now, I'm still unsure of how to go about writing this review. My thoughts are not concrete. I continue to find myself mulling over all the intricacies of the characters, and pondering the heavy questions they themselves pondered over. I waiver between liking the story and liking it immensely. It's moving, thought-provoking and invokes self-reflection.

This book has strong character portraits, with the caste often asking deep spiritual and
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
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan Stuber
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
GDC is probably one of the most perfect novels I’ve ever read, simply because it fulfills every element a really good novel should:

1) descriptions of settings that take you there so you really see and feel them: “The tumbled wet roofs of Green Dolphin Street gleamed like silver, and over them the emptied rain clouds had thinned to a sheen of silver grey shot through with gold, with here and there a sort of lake of unclouded sky the colour of aquamarine."

2) descriptions of multi-dimensional
Jane Jago
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favourite Elizabeth Goudge. But still
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book introduced me to Elizabeth Goudge. After reading the book, I scoured the library for more by the same author . I was lucky enough to have a mother who also loved reading, and she purchased others. Through Miss Goudge, I so very much! She introduced me to a world I didn't know existed, and I've been a bit of an Anglophile ever since!

Goudge's books are notably Christian in outlook, containing such themes as sacrifice, conversion, discipline, healing, and growth through suffering. Her
Deborah Pickstone
What a bizarre and unfortunate mistake to make! Elizabeth Goudge is always a lovely read despite being not exactly modern and unfashionably nice! I forgave her for all errors about NZ - she made it clear she had never been here.
4.5 Stars (maybe even 5)

Even though I've heard great things about Elizabeth Goudge for years, this is the first book of hers that I've read. But it won't be the last - I plan to read more soon. She's a great story teller and wordsmith, and even though one character infuriated me at times, I loved this book.
Favorite quotes:
"It's not what you expected" he asked softly and mockingly. "Freedom? Scope? Satisfaction of love and ambition? You thought that here you'd have them all, eh? Life's much the
Green Dolphin Street was a best seller when it was published in 1944 according to the back of the 1970 reprint I read. It was also made in to a film starring Lana Turner and Donna Reed in 1948. I can see why it was popular. The story is about two sisters who love the same man: Marianne is the older sister, headstrong and cunning. Margarite is the younger, dreamy and good natured. Which one gets the guy? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Set in the mid 1800s, the characters go from
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book mostly for the beauty. Things like tiny, colored shells in a hidden beach-cave with gulls flying over head. The book opens with the mother coaching her two girls who are lying on boards, so marvelous! It's awesome that the book is inspired by a story of two sisters who meet on a rock and kiss, something like that. The contrast between the sisters is amazing to recall, and the way the author created them to be SO real. You could dig and dig and Marguerite would be pure ...more
Cynthia Haggard
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality, fiction
This was a book so unlike any other book I have ever read, and as a result it really made an impact on me. I believe the main theme of the story is how the characters, both the major and the minor, journey to find their own special place (country) in the world. One minor character explained, "Our home, our special country, is for all of us the place where we find liberation; a very difficult word, child, that tries to describe something that can't be described but is the only thing worth ...more
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a surprisingly intimate and painful experience to read this book, because I am Marianne but I wished all through that I were Marguerite. By the end, though, William is my hero and whose example I aspire to.

There are some beautiful, powerful things about it that would be delightful to analyze and describe. Relationships and our faults and heroic efforts in them are the true point of conflict, although set against an exotic adventurous backdrop of New Zealand in the 1800s. Suffice it to
Cynthia Egbert
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-and-read
Well, this one left me with the burning question, is life simply unfair or can God cause the slip of a pen or a momentary lapse in memory to save a life if he understands the hearts of all involved in a situation and knows who can withstand and even thrive through intense pain and who will succumb to said pain? I still don't have the answer but this novel sure makes one think. The prose is gorgeous. The characters are, well, you love them or hate them but they are certainly characters. The novel ...more
I wish I would have an easy formula for reviewing and rating books like this. Seriously, I don't even know what I think about it. How am I supposed to express something I don't know?!

The plot was one thing I mkst definitely did not like. On second thought, I liked it remarkably well considering the basic premise: A man writes home asking his love to come and marry him. Unfortunately, he confuses her name with the name of her sister, and the wrong woman makes the long journey to meet him. What
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I started reading this book to see if it was a good fit for middle schoolers. I am not sure how today's teens and tweens would react to this book but I was swept away by it. The story is slow-moving at first and I wasn't immediately enamored of the characters but eventually I became completely immersed in their lives and all-too-human failings, frailties, struggles and triumphs. The author's detailed and colorful descriptions of life in the English Channel Islands, at sea, and in New Zealand ...more
I hesitate to give this only 3 stars, because it was so beautifully written and I even cried at the end! The setting just wasn't for me... and it was painful to watch Marianne blunder through her life. Not my favorite Goudge, but full of merit and I definitely see why people love it. Also I hope to watch the movie version someday!
Kelsey Bryant
Green Dolphin Street was an emotional roller coaster. I found it hard to write a review that doesn't give anything away, because it would be better for everyone to discover the unfolding petals of this book themselves. It’s like an opening rose; it was joy (and occasionally agony) to step across each petal until the center of the ending was reached, where everything came together, with all its full-blown fragrance.

Most books are add-ons to life: you read them and they capture your surface
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This book is about various forms that love takes, and follows primarily the lives of three people -- Marguerite, Marianne, and William. One of these characters, at times, nearly drove me crazy with her selfish, controlling nature, but her journey was definitely worth taking with her. The ending of this book was deeply satisfying, and the pages were filled with truly magnificent prose.
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sweeping, majestic soap opera of a book! It took a little while to get into this one but once I did I couldn't put it down, and the prose was just beautiful.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So beautiful!!! This was a beautifully written story about true, self-sacrificing love. That may be all I can say for now without crying ...more
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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.
“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...” 76 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.” 26 likes
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