This is part three in the “Hang in there…spring is coming” series!
And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim’s Aunt, Miss. Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets, standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, “Would you like anything to read?”–Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales
In the past year I’ve read some beautiful and great books with Christian themes —
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (fabulous story and gorgeous writing–possibly a good family read-aloud if you have older kids.)
“From my first breath in this world, all I wanted was a good set of lungs and the air to fill them with–given circumstances, you might presume, for an American baby of the twentieth century.”
Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge (a bestseller from the 1940’s…moves a little slowly but the payoff in the questions it raises and the insights about redemptive relationships is worth it, and the settings where the story unfolds are beautiful and interesting.)
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (I can’t believe I never had read it before. This one’s formatting might be a little off-putting but you get used to it. It is very moving and insightful, about apartheid in South Africa, seen through the eyes of a black Anglican priest searching for his son.)
There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
Precious Bane by Mary Webb (published in 1924, set in an earlier time in Shropshire, England. This is one of my favorite books ever, and my book group re-read it this year. Everyone loved it. More gorgeous writing and wonderful characters. Here’s an introduction to it.)
It was at a love-spinning that I saw Kester first. And if, in these new-fangled days, when new inventions crowd upon us, when I hear tell there is even a machine coming into use in some parts of the country for reaping and mowing, if those that mayhappen will read this don’t know what a love-spinning is, well they shall hear in good time.
Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky in the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation (Christian themes and questions and characters abound. It is SO worth the effort, and becomes a page-turner by the end.)
“Alexei Fyodorovich Karamazov was the third son of a landowner from our district, Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, well known in his own day (and still remembered among us) because of his dark and tragic death, which happened exactly thirteen years ago and which I shall speak of in its proper place.”
I love finding fiction that combines fine writing and story craftsmanship with Christian themes.