The Scent of Water

by Elizabeth Goudge

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Yes I know. I’m surprised I’m marking a Goudge book so low.

But it looks like she is a hit or a miss author for me & this title is a definite miss.

My copy quotes from a review from The Scotsman.

Miss Goudge has the art of presenting men and women, to say nothing of children, as genuinely convincing persons, too human to be either wholly good or wholly bad.

I’m assuming this quote was about Goudge’s books in general, as the main character, the second Mary Lindsay, was a complete Mary Sue (first time I have ever used this expression – thank you Goodreads!) and I found her original motivation baffling. I did like that just for once we have a heroine in her fifties.

Mary impulsively upended her comfortable and successful life in London, because the relative she was named for left her what turned out to be a run down house in a small village. Gradually she becomes part of the fabric of village life, falls in love and finds her faith (and the symbolism for that was that was very heavy handed) Two of the children disappear from the story part way through – which is a shame as I found (view spoiler)The Scotsman is correct about Goudge writing wonderfully complex children – an ability she shares with Rumer Godden.

But when a 255 page novel starts to feel very long (and takes two weeks to read), I know this isn’t the book for me.

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