Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Scent of Water: A review

The Scent of Water
by Elizabeth Goudge

When I was younger I really didn’t like this book. I liked almost every other Elizabeth Goudge book out there. But not this one. I think that Cousin Mary scared me. Anyway, my grandmother gave me her copy when they moved, about five years ago, I think. Eventually I thought, well I should really read it to make sure I don’t like it before I sell it. I read it and I loved it. Which is all to say, sometimes there is a right time and a wrong time to read books.

I don’t really have a lot to say about this book besides read it. It’s beautiful. So here are a few quotes.

“Most of us tend to belittle all suffering except our own…I think it’s fear. We don’t want to come too near in case we’re sucked in and have to share it.”

“….one of those moments when the goodness of God was so real to her that it was like taste and scent: the rough strong taste of honey in the comb and the scent of water. her thoughts of God had a homeliness that at time seemed shocking, in spite of their power, which could rescue her from terror or evil with an ease that astonished her.”

“If one’s intellectual equipment was not great, one’s spiritual experience not deep, the result of doing one’s damned best could only seem very lightweight in comparison with the effort involved. But perhaps that was not important. The mysterious power that commanded men appeared to him to ask of them only obedience and the maximum of effort and to remain curiously indifferent as to results.”

“You want to love and you can’t, and you hate yourself because you can’t, and all the time love is not some marvelous thing that you feel but some hard thing you do.”


Pam H. said...

I think this is the only Goudge book I've fully enjoyed, so far. (The others I've read had some part or other that annoyed me.) I read it a while back, and it helped me through an emotional jam, so I might be biased.

MaureenE said...

I personally grew up on Goudge and I really love almost all of them.