Grace Livingston Hill

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A friend of mine who recently moved was downsizing and getting rid of lots of stuff, so I was the happy recipient of a bag full of books. All by Grace Livingston Hill, 49 of them.


I'm on my eighth one, and really enjoying these old-fashioned stories. Written in the 1910s to 1940s, they are decidedly quaint and moral, even for those times. They are also unashamedly Christian, with a gospel message presented in each book. The heroine is always lovely and courageous, the hero always manly and protective, the servants always loyal and obedient . . . and there's always a beautiful sunset, a lovely, floral-scented breeze wafting from the garden, and a happy ending.

While I appreciate fine literature as much as anyone, and enjoy many classic and modern novels, these somewhat sappy stories are a breath of fresh air; right is right and wrong is wrong, and there's no relativistic moral dilemmas to solve (or not), no modern-day psychological angst to struggle through, no unresolved conflicts and depressing endings.


I had thought after the first two or three I would tire of the somewhat formulaic writing and predictable story lines, but not so far. They feel homey and peaceful and comforting. Escapist, really . . . but not in the sense of your ordinary beach read. 

There's wonderful messages of grace, forgiveness, repentance, and love all wound through the stories; they're inspiring and heartwarming, especially for the Christian reader looking for encouragement in their walk.

I'm not sure these books are carried in libraries anymore, but I have found a couple to read free online at gutenberg.org if you want to give one a try. Two I've read online are Cloudy Jewel and The Enchanted Barn. Just type those into the search engine.

20 comments :

  1. Thanks, Deborah! I have never heardof this writer, but it isn't a normal genre for me, though. I applaud your review - you are such a great writer, yourself, ma'am!

    Have a wonderful day - Happy Ground Hog's Day - looks as if we may get an early spring! (Though I had hoped for a marvelously cold and snowy winter....)

    Hugs! ♥

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  2. The Enchanted Barn is my personal favorite as it was my mother's and grandmother's. The most interesting story is Grace Livingston Hill's herself, a story of faith and strength.

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  3. I remember the librarian in town suggesting those books and reading them through a long lazy summer as a teenager. Thanks for brining back great memories. I'll check them out on line

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  4. I've not heard of these books before. They sound like the sort of book I need to read right now ... escapism! Something light while purging the house. I've read a few chapters of "Testament of Youth", but it's the kind of book that asks you to sit and enjoy reading for a few hours at a time, and I just can't give it that time right now. Thanks for sharing about this author :)
    Wendy

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  5. What a wonderful treasure trove for you of those books by an author you love. It is uplifting to alternate reading with upbeat books, interspersed with those with darker themes.

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  6. How wonderful to have acquired these favorite books! I have heard of this author and these stories sound like something I would enjoy as well. Have fun reading them!

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  7. I've never read a Grace Livingstone Hill book, but I have a friend who has them all, I think. She's started a GLH group on Facebook, if I'm remembering correctly (I'm not on Facebook, but she told me). Anyway, what a great treasure that is for you!

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  8. I read so many of GLH's books as a young teenager. The Enchanted Barn was my favorite of all time, and I have longed, ever since, to remodel a barn into such a home. They are formulaic and simple, but as you've said, there is something appealing about simplicity and black and white in this age of too many choices and too much grey.

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  9. Dearest Deborah,
    That sounds indeed like a breath of fresh air for the declining morals of this time and age!
    We loved reading such books when we were younger and for sure they do our soul some good when read now.
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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  10. Hello, I think we need a comeback of some wonderful stories that give us hope and courage and of course love! I will check this link out!
    Thanks and take care and enjoy a good relaxing read!
    Hugs, Roxy

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  11. This brought back memories. I used to love her books.

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  12. These sound like wonderful stories, and how nice to have so many to relax with! I will have to search for these. I love books like this - uplifting and inspiring. Thanks for sharing and have fun with all these treasures! xx K

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  13. What a nice friend to gift you with all those books, Deborah! Thank you for the recommendation of the free books to read online.
    Happy reading to you! I love happy endings!

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  14. Hi Deborah, what a special gift from your friend. These stories sounds so refreshing and enjoyable from a time when we engaged without all the techno we have in the world today. Have fun reading. I need to look for these. Thanks for the info.
    Have a blessed weekend ahead. xo

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  15. How wonderful! I love Crimson Roses, it was the first GLH book I read. Another author with similar style is Emilie Loring. They are not as openly Christian as GLH, but do have Christian world view stories.

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  16. Hello Deborah, how lucky you are to have a nice friend to give you all of those nice books. I will look up the books. Thanks for the recommendation. Happy reading.
    Julie

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  17. I had access to two of her books as a young girl growing up. They were Crimson Roses and More Than Conqueror. Very romantic and I loved them!

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  18. Hi Deborah,
    I have a lot of GLH books including The Enchanted Barn which I loved! I have been taking them into my mother to read and she's really enjoying them. It is such a breath of fresh air to read a book with no smut whatsoever in them, isn't it? I like the message and the characters portrayed in each story. Hope you're having a lovely day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  19. What a spectacular bonanza! GLH's writing has deeply influenced my life.

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  20. Reading is one of the few things I can still do, so I greatly appreciate your sharing this author and these books. My kind of reading!

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