The Verdict: “Brede” is a remarkable book

I must admit, it is kind of thrilling to me to be receiving so many emails from both men and women of all ages, who tell me they have taken my advice and picked up or borrowed a copy of Rumer Godden’s classic novel, In This House of Brede. Within the last 24 hours I have received email from two gentlemen, who were exceedingly taken with the book – one wrote,

“I wanted to write and thank you for your recommendation. I am a lapsed RC, but the book was still full of meaning and wonder. Its hard for me to describe, but just reading the book brought me such a sense of peace and joy.”

Well, I am so happy to know he enjoyed it. So many have written to tell me that the novel brought an unusual feeling of comfort and serenity to them. I believe that is why I have usually re-read it at times when I am feeling a bit down, myself. Rumer Godden, aside from being a tremendously gifted writer, was also a Benedictine Oblate, and she spent over 5 years researching this book, living on monastery grounds, etc. I do believe the Holy Spirit may have infused her work with something beyond mere talent. I am so glad that Loyola Press has re-released this book! You can order it via my bookshelf (see sidebar) where all monies realize go to the hospice which looked after my brother so well.

Btw, there is a DVD of the made-for-tv movie based on the book. It stars Diana Rigg, whom I always liked (Mrs. Peel was an early heroine of mine), but still – it’s a disappointment. In trying to fit Goddens ideas and characters into a 90 minute teleplay, whole characters were either omitted or distorted beyond recognition, major storylines were left out and what the scriptwriter did to poor Sr. Cecily (renamed Joanna for the pic) borders on the criminal.

Related: Brede gets thumbs up from Anchoress reader

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About Elizabeth Scalia

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