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The Curate's Awakening (The Curate's Awakening #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,048 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
A young minister's honest search to discover the truth of Christianity.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 1st 1985 by Bethany House Publishers (first published 1876)
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Michael McCloskey
May 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
C.S. Lewis once said that he has never written a page that did not bear the marks of George MacDonald. The Curate's Awakening is the first in a series beginning with the fictional life of Thomas Wingfold, dutiful but lifeless curate in the Church of England and the transformation that occurs in his life.
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book a couple years ago and remember enjoying it. :) If you don't mind reading a couple sermons in the middle, it's an intriguing story. All books about pastors/pastor's families have a special place in my heart. ;)
It's probably high time I read it again...
Mar 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Love George MacDonald for great Christian fiction with depth.
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
If you are in for an edge-of-your seat story, you will not find it in this book. However, if you are in for thought provoking theology and a journey through doubt into faith, you will likely not find anything quite like this read to suit your desire. George MacDonald presents the story of a young preacher who, after a conversation with an atheist, finds himself questioning the beliefs he has taken for granted every week in the pulpit. Through the tutoring of an honest and wise friend, and throug ...more
Lara Lleverino
This is a story of moving from oblivion to awareness to doubt to glimmers of hope and finally to sold out conviction. The most beautiful passage is the story of the "shop" in heaven where no currency is necessary and where "church" happens spontaneously in the midst of daily duties.

This book is a great example of an exercise in true logic and shines a bright light on the errors of atheism which holds so tightly to its own brand of religion and with fancy words dazzles the listener into thinking
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Some of my favorite lines: college at least, clergyman's sons little reflect the behavior prescribed by the doctrines their fathers teach. The cause of this is matter for the consideration of those fathers. p.22

We do not half appreciate the benefits to the race that spring from honest dullness. The clever people are often the ruin of everything.

But this morning he came face-to-face with himself all at once, and not liking the interview, jumped out of bed as if he had hoped
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Forgot i had this, found it on a pile, decided to try first 10 pages or so and then chuck book if no good, because this is EDITED George MacDonald (author of 'Phantasies', 'At the Back of the North Wind', & 'The princess and the goblin' to name a few). Normally this would have been a two tome 19th century behemoth, with A LOT of extra words. But i gave it a go, and read the whole darn thing in a day and a half. I did not expect a murder in it, I did not expect a whole mountainside's worth of ...more
Brad Holaway
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reader beware, this novel may produce unexpected consequences in your spiritual life, consequences that might be difficult if not impossible to shake off.

For one, St Paul's words, "God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.", may take on a whole new meaning for you. For another, you may begin to wonder if human suffering might be the very best way for a loving Father to respond for the greatest good of his children. And you may also find relief coming to realize that honest dou
Rebecca Lewitt
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-romance
As regards story and characters, I found this book disappointing. The people seemed a little cardboard-y, not really human to me. The story was kind of trite and took too long to evolve. I was pretty glad when the book was done. It wasn't a one star-er though. Many of the monologues, while overly long, were quite thought provoking. It made me think I would probably have enjoyed this man's non-fiction work quite a bit--more so than his "romance" as it was here. I'm not turned off the author--I th ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, christian
If you love Christianity and want to read about a man's search for truth, this is the book for you. Beautiful writing by a very gifted author that we don't read enough of. I came to love the main character, Thomas Wingfold, feel pity for the antagonist (if you can call him that--it's complicated) George Bascome, and root for the budding romance between Helen and Thomas just as much as I've ever rooted for my favorite chick-flick couples. MacDonald infuses his prose with lovely poetry, and though ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Between the original author, George MacDonald and Michael Phillips, the script was well done. The historic times, the nobility and gentry, and the life lessons were superbly woven together. As I listened to Mr. Polwarth converse with Thomas, I was mesmerized by their conversations...and...felt like I was right in the room with them; ever cheering on Mr. Polwarth and willing Thomas to truly understand "right faith." This book was not just a good book, but it was a book about good:) Of course ever ...more
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Not the first time I've read it, and by no means the last. A nourishing read.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Theology and fiction and a touch of romance...wowsers! took me a bit to get into because it is not my normal read, but I loved that this encouraged me in my faith! On to the next one...
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I love him as an author, I feel I am outgrowing much of George Mac’s theology. I’m much more familiar with up-to-date scholarship about comparative cosmogonies, religions, and mythology than I’ve ever been, and that makes some of MacDonald’s theology—very progressive in its own time for its overtones of universalism, inclusivity, and equality—feel outdated to me. It’s my fault for thinking of his theology as current in the first place; but I came from a very fundamentalist Christian b ...more
Nadine Keels
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thomas Wingfold, the curate of Glaston, entered the ministry as a profession, having seen no reason not to do so. But unlikely incidents show him he doesn’t know what his true beliefs are in The Curate’s Awakening, a novel by author George MacDonald.

Overall, I enjoyed this gothic tale. It isn’t the typical “he lost his faith because something bad happened to him” scenario I see in a lot of Christian novels. Not to say that that kind of scenario can’t be complex, but not every person’s faith in G
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the Curate of a small (fictional) parish in England and his spiritual awakening. This tale of how he comes to grips with what he is learning, how he brings these thoughts to his sermons, how it affects his daily life etc. is fascinating. Additionally, other events in the parish bring to the fore those who prefer not to live an examined life, those who do, and those who slowly recognize the need to examine their lives. Such an interesting mix of characters!

Greg Grunau
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are wrestling with doubts about the Christian faith, or you are a pastor who feels you're just going through the motions and not feeling close to God yourself, this might be a good book for you. One of my favourites from college days ... have re-read this many times. Love MacDonald's pursuit of truth and experience of Jesus over accepted religious culture of the day!
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am Christian. I agree with most, though not all, of the theology in this book.

However, I dislike treatises disguised as novels. If you're going to write a theological treatise, write it as that. Don't throw some story around it and call it a novel. Especially when the treatise is at least half the book.
Mary Johnson Howes
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story of forgiveness,love George MacDonald stories.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very thoughtful treatise on what it means to be a Christian. I highly recommend it.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not my favorite George MacDonald book, but still a George MacDonald book! This book explores faith, doubting, guilt, and forgiveness.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is, without a doubt, a book that you'll want to read over and over again!
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, that is a fine example of Grace and hope.
Ruth Dahl
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So good.
Thomas Wingfold has been of the lukewarm variety his whole life. He settles in to his profession as a curate, armed with a book of pre-written sermons his uncle left him.
The question "Do you really believe one word of that" from an impertinent parishioner is the first domino, the second is a letter from another parishioner inviting him to tea to discuss theology. And now the Curate is being converted to Christianity, possibly.
This book was so good in the first 20 pages that I was worried
James Giddings
For a 21st-century reader, this book sometimes feels boring and old-fashioned, but it is both comforting and thought-provoking by turns. It is a cross between a romance, a murder mystery, a thriller, a collection of sermons, a quaint country diary, and a story of personal growth. There are some wonderful passages in the story,which is written by the same skillful author who wrote "Lilith", "The Light Princess" and "The Princess and the Goblin". It includes long passages from a sort of diary of t ...more
Karen L.
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: george-macdonald
I usually don't give five stars to a book, but this story was truly amazing. It follows the life of Thomas Wingfold a young country curate, as well as a few other secondary characters in their transformations of character. There was quite a bit of philosophizing between the various intellectuals. At times I felt as if I were in the middle of Dostoevsky's, "Brothers Karamazov."

MacDonald can have a didactic style of writing, but usually his characters are sophisticated enough to pull off what the
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book at least three times, and I learn something every time. Different characters stand out to me as I reach different points in my own spiritual journey. In terms of content, this is as enriching, beautiful, and true as it gets. In terms of style, MacDonald gets a bit contrived in dialogue at times, but it is very "of its time," so does not detract if the reader expects it.

I recommend this to any Christian who is serious about understanding what lies at the core of a Christian
Dec 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
George MacDonald has written some good stuff. I don't think I've read any Christian fiction that is as deep AND enjoyable as either Thomas Wingfold or What's Mine's Mine.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've had this book on my shelf for awhile (the bookmark inside is from the Christian book outlet in Arkansas) and finally got around to reading it. As the first of a trilogy, I look forward to following MacDonald's characters through their spiritual journeys. I appreciate the way he addresses the real questions people have without the expected cliches.
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful, thought provoking book about a pastor who suddenly questions what, if anything, he believes. I loved so much about this book: the way the curate is guided in his faith by one overlooked by many and the various paths to redemption. Well worth a read if you want excellent writing that will also inform your faith.
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George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.

Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as G.K. Chesterton, W. H. Auden, J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle. Lewis that wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I
More about George MacDonald

Other Books in the Series

The Curate's Awakening (3 books)
  • The Lady's Confession (Hampshire Books)
  • The Baron's Apprenticeship
“Trust is born in love, and our need is to love God, not apprehend
facts concerning him.”
“Life eternal, this lady of thine hath a sore heart, and we cannot help her. Thou art help, O Mighty Love. Speak to her, and let her know thy will, and give her strength to do it, O Father of Jesus Christ, Amen.” 3 likes
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