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THE DEAN'S WATCH by Elizabeth Goudge Kirkus Star



Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1960
Publisher: Coward-McCann

This comes closer to A City of Bells, perhaps, than to any other of Elizabeth Goudge's novels, with the setting a cathedral town in the Fens of East Anglia, and the period the mid 19th century. Around the two central characters- Isaac, a moody gifted old clock maker, whose life is made miserable by his rigid, gloomy sister, and the Dean, whose shyness makes personal contact well nigh impossible- but yet, through the deep-seated goodness of his character has won the love of the poor, the underprivileged and the children he serves -- is built a story in which a whole town comes alive. When Isaac and the Dean find common understanding, and mutual devotion, both learn, though painfully, that Love is the key to Life- and that Faith is something one has to recognize within oneself. Basically, this is a profoundly religious book, in which the Dean, in his ruminations, manages to convey the essence of his own beliefs. As always, in Elizabeth Goudge's writings, her handling of children is sheer magic- and again this is true, whether she writes of spoiled small Bella or illiterate but wise young Polly or Joe, in whom genius responds to the touch of understanding and appreciation. A warm, appealing story.