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A Haunting Love Story Set In The Channel Islands And New Zealand In The Th CenturyWilliam, Whose Hypnotic, Masculine Presence Made Two Women Adore Him Of Marianne, Moody, Passionate, Brilliant, By Whom William Was Both Fascinated And Repelled Of Marguerite, Marianne S Beautiful Sister Whom William Wanted With All His HeartThey Had Both Loved Him For Years Now They Were Waiting For Him To Return From His Journeys And Claim His Bride This book is an absolute gem I have read it COUNTLESS times and each time I read it again I fall into the world in its pages and find it hard to come out on the last page The characters make you fall in love with them, or hate them this sounds like a fairly generic statement but rarely do I feel anything when reading a book, this one was most certainly an exception Marianne, marguerite so much could be said about them, I feel that the emotions of the characters was expressed PERFECTLY This book stays beside my bed, its hard to find these days and it is one of my prized possessions. 4.5 While there is a lot wrong with this book, there is so much that is right The Le Pastourel sisters, growing up in the picturesque town of St Pierre in Guernsey, are separated by than the five year age gap Marguerite is sweet, sunny good natured, Marianne is highly intelligent, passionate and strong willed Both become infatuated with newcomer,William Does a handsome face and boundless good nature make him a worthy choice for either sister view spoiler You really will wonder about this hide spoiler A long time ago, when I made the transition from junior to senior member of the library, my mother steered me towards a number of authors whose books she loved and that she thought I might love too I read some of them then, I read some of them later, but it was years before I began to read Elizabeth Goudge, who I knew was a particular favourite.Her books didn t appeal to me at all back in the day, and when their author fell out of fashion and her books disappeared from the library shelves I forgot all about her I can t remember how or where I found her again, but I m very pleased that I did.I m also pleased that I didn t read her all those years ago, because I think that the qualities that make her an interesting writer are better appreciated with a little age and experience, with an awareness that life is short and may take unexpected and difficult turns.I always liked the look of Green Dolphin Country , but because it was such a very big book I picked up others first This year though, when I was looking for a book to read on Elizabeth Gouge s birthday, I decided that its time had come and I had a lovely few days caught up with the story, the characters, the world, through nearly half a century.The story opens on one of the Channel Islands the author has given the fictional name of St Pierre in the middle of the 19th century Two very different sisters were growing up there Marianne was sixteen, she was dark and lacking in beauty, she had a passionate temper and she was bright and curious about everything the world had to offer Too bright and too curious for the age and the place where she lived Eleven year old Marguerite was fair and pretty, she was vivacious, she loved her life, her home and her family, and she wanted nothing than happiness for the people she loved and the world around her.The courses of both their lives begin to change when a newly widowed doctor and his thirteen year old son, William, come home to the island Marianne is quick to see something happening, to investigate and to make friends Marguerite follows a little cautiously, and makes an equally good but quite different impression.Marianne plans to win William as her own but it is clear to everyone except her that he sees her as a friend maybe the sibling he never had and that Marguerite is the girl he loves and will always love above all others She isn t a fool by any means Knowing that she wasn t a beauty and that she couldn t match the feminine ideal of her time Marianne set about becoming the most chic, the most witty of her social circle and she succeeded she just couldn t understand that there were some things that she could never change, that never could be changed.William joined that Royal Navy, and he tried to secure his future with Marguerite before he sailed away, but circumstances and a little manipulation from Marianne resulted in him leaving before he had said many of the things he had intended to say When he was ashore in the Far East William was tricked and robbed and couldn t reach his ship before it sailed That meant that he was AWOL from the Navy, and that he would be arrested if he travelled back home He was extremely lucky to meet someone he knew, and to be offered the chance travel to a small colony in New Zealand to build a new life.Over the course of the next few years William established himself, and then he was able to write home to ask the girl he loved to sail across the world to be his bride He was tired, he had been drinking, he had a great deal to say, and somehow he wrote the name Marianne when he had written to write Marguerite.It sounds improbable, but this twist in the tale was inspired by a real life story in which exactly the same thing happened Marianne travelled to New Zealand with no idea at all that she was not expected Marguerite was left at home struggling to understand what had happened and William waited with no idea at all he had sent for the wrong girl.That is just the beginning of a wonderfully rich tale of love and adventure in times and places where the world was undergoing great change I had worried that it would be a tale of a great love lost, but of course in Elizabeth Goudge s hands it was much than that it was a story that illustrated that the journey to grace so often begins by accepting that we may not be able to have what we want most and by finding strength to do what we must.There are lessons about loyalty and friendship, about the depth and complexity of marriage, about the human spirit in the darkest and happiest of times, and the emotional and spiritual lives of the characters at the centre of the story were illuminated so very well.Marianne is at the centre of the story, and she a very difficult character to like Her spirit is wonderful, but she was manipulative, she could see no point of view but her own, and there were some lessons that it seemed she could never quite learn I couldn t ever say that I liked her, but I could understand who she was and why she spoke and acted as she did, and I believed in her as I did in William and Marguerite.There is a wonderful supporting cast whose stories are woven around the stories of those three, and that did much to make the world in this book live and breathe.Elizabeth Goudge wrote that she never travelled to New Zealand, and that she researched as much as she could and imagined the rest I suspect that she imagined too much, that many of the pictures she has drawn were not true to life, but for the purposes of her story I think that they work.She wrote so beautifully I loved the descriptive prose that drew me so close to her characters and allowed me to see the places they saw and the world that they lives in so very clearly It also served to control the pace, to allow time to absorb the human emotions that are the lifeblood of this book It is a big book but I find myself wising that it could have been bigger, that I could have stayed longer and seen I would have like rather time with Marguerite, though I do understand why New Zealand was the main focus of the story.I couldn t see how there could be a right ending, but there was, and it was so utterly right emotionally and spiritually that there was a smile on my face and there were tears in my eyes. Where to start Well I suppose the first time while looking up books based on classic movies I have seen, I came across Elizabeth Goudge s Green Dolphin Street which I put on my to read list but hoping a Kindle edition would be available, alas it did and years later decide to read it now I will add in my spoiler section differences between the movie and the novel, that might ruin the story, if you decide to read this wonderful story Though the movie was based on the novel, besides the general premise and following the storyline throughout but in my opinion, it is like night and day If you could have continual soliloquies which would be impossible for an enjoyable movie and brought underling themes to be crystal clear, you might get closer to the pure majestic beautiful of this treasured novel As I was reading I knew it would become a favorite but at the end I knew it would go on my ultimate favorite shelf here at Goodreads.What made the movie and book so different besides what I have already stated How can Lana Turner play a Marianne Patourel, when in the book Marianne is plain In the movie you could make her the believable because you leave that fact out and you put an honest Donna Reed in for Marguerite Patourel This fact changes the whole story on film and the book deals with far greater issues because of that fact Then add the disparaging timeline of the movie which had the characters remain fairly young whereas in the book, 16 68 age year span brings a whole new set of complications which indeed makes this book a gem.Did I enjoy the book less since I knew the movie plot Absolutely not The two are so different in my mind that every page I turned I was either shocked or amazed.Is the movie worth seeing Yes I have seen it several times and look forward to seeing it again at some point Now onto the book, this is a work of historical fiction which I will add some quotes to explain what Elizabeth Goudge wanted her readers to know before starting her novel There also is also in the 2015 edition an editor s note warning some insensitivity that modern readers might take offense I saw this an expected continual use of words not in today s vocabulary but unfortunately said at times but I really can t remember a word so if used it was rare in this story In reference to the colonization of that time, I think Goudge did a fair job trying to bring both sides forward with regards to the story I did not highlight the warning but thought I throw it out there.About the author, ELIZABETH Goudge, born at the turn of the 20th century in England, was a gifted writer whose own life is reflected in most of the stories she wrote Her father was an Anglican rector who taught theological courses in various cathedral cities across the country, eventually accepting a Professorship of Divinity at Oxford The many moves during her growing up years provided settings and characters that she developed and described with great care and insight Elizabeth s maternal grandparents lived in the Channel Islands, and she loved her visits there Eventually several of her novels were set in that charming locale Her mother, a semi invalid for much of her life, urged Elizabeth to attend The Art College for training as a teacher, and she appreciated the various crafts she learned She said it gave her the ability to observe things in minute detail and stimulated her imagination Elizabeth s first writing attempts were three screenplays which were performed in London as a charity fund raiser She submitted them to a publisher who told her to go away and write a novel We are forever in his debt, writes one of her biographer Though this book is fiction, and the characters are not portraits, it is based on fact That a man who had emigrated to the New World should after the lapse of years write home for a bride, and then get the wrong one because he had confused her name with that of her sister, may seem to the reader highly improbable yet it happened And in real life also the man held his tongue about his mistake and made a good job of his marriage The Convent of Notre Dame du Castel has no existence in actual fact, though it is true that monks from Mont Saint Michel crossed the sea in their frail little boat and founded a hermitage on the island of Guernsey Le Creux des F es exists today, and the footprints of the fairy Abbesses are still to be found imprinted on the rock, and Marie Tape Tout still guides fishermen home To all lovers of New Zealand it will be immediately obvious that the writer has never been there, and I most humbly ask their pardon for the many mistakes I must have made I have a massive amount of highlights which you can see under my highlights and note section, if interested.I have never read a book that brought so many extreme turbulence of opinions on so many characters than in this story From the get go I rooted for one to feel extreme dislike soon after, some I would dislike or like in pairs but then after change my mind again, maybe liking one and then disliking the rest In their actions, words and inner feelings known to only themselves and the reader This went on to the very end which at times I felt so into the story, which I am generally immersed, that I felt emotional discomfort Strange, I know but that is my way as I read sometimes.Some other main characters, I kept a strong like throughout and that I did not waiver Captain O Hara Nat Doctor Ozanne Tai Haruru Veronique Samuel KellyThis is a romance but quite a different one in that satisfaction is not always apparent and references to future and past lives to make one whole, though not even fully discussed, still present for the reader to make their own conclusions.The colonization of New Zealand and the struggles with that brought the Maori in a fair light which has the reader rooting for them as well as the settlers, excepting certain barbaric practices which I will leave this whole part at that I found the historical part as interesting as the main plot.The missionary mission to bring Christianity and the whole religious discussion and storyline, I found fascinating and knowing the author s history.How important is success and appearances to life Is there a medium or does that success help fulfil others desires to help mankind Can a person change themselves and be different without an effect on their happiness and inner being The love we desire and the reality of how others love us is different than we love them Duty to love where love is not present but trying to make it work in its own way.Human desires and inability to reach them brings reality to this love story Selfish, selflessness and a combination is brought to the picture Feelings that should be not present in some brings almost a shock of sorts, or at least to me.There is just so much there which makes life not so easy but a continual course of reevaluating all around You just have to read this to know what I am saying which the movie could not even touch.The short of it Two young sisters meet a young boy, William whose father just arrived back to his Island home of his birth and things are for ever changed for all three.I keep thinking, I have seen the movie what can a book offer Everything and much, much Old time radio link from Lux Radio Theater September 19, 1949https www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com SPOILER ALERT In the movie Marguerite is not a nun but soon to be after William and Marianne come back to the island Marguerite is solemn but in the book she has been a nun for many years and old She does not deny that she thinks of past love of William and in the movie no love is told between Marguerite and William but William says he only loves Marianne The daughter in the book grows up to be married with kids and a whole section of a doomed possible marriage that William and John stop Tai expresses his love to Marianne but she loves William but in the book she wants Tai to come with them down south and thinks of him always though she loves William.In the bookI was amazed at some of Marguerite s thoughts and later she admits to her sister when they are both being honest and apologizing Some characters have good and bad which kept me searching for how I wanted this story to end I liked Marianne and dislikes her as I did William, as well as the honest to a point Marguerite Why did William keep lying to Marianne so that she would be happy but she could tell something was off and her domineering self brought down her pride when he had not chosen her But though he loved Marguerite why did he write Marianne s name instead, even though drunk was there to this Did he have a feeling that she had done so much throughout her life for him, though selfish in whole because she loved him, that he being lazy needed her than his true love I think he loved her in the end but in a quite different way but still a way that was what Marianne always desired from him I could keep going but I leave it here.