When I was a teenager, Linda, a friend in my Sunday-school class, handed me a novel by Grace Livingston Hill and said, “You’ve got to read this.”
I had never heard of the author, but Linda had never steered me wrong before, so I took the book home and dove right in.
I was glad I did. After reading one book, I wanted more. Soon Grace Livingston Hill became one of my favorite authors and I began seeking out her books in second-hand stores. It wasn’t long before I had a pretty good collection of my own.
I enjoyed the plots and the characters, of course; but I discovered that I also loved the way Mrs. Hill made the time period of her stories come to life.
I was fascinated by her descriptions of American life in the 1920s and 1930s.
I loved reading about easy chairs on the veranda and gardens that always yielded beautiful blooms; train travel and jaunty cars that never seemed to run out of gasoline.
Not long ago I came across some examples of the art of Paul Gustave Fischer, which are featured in this post. His works immediately made me think of Grace Livingston Hill’s novels.
The artist captured in his paintings the same thing Mrs. Hill captured in her books: Movement. Grace Livingston Hill’s heroines were always on the move; they were going somewhere, and they had purpose in their fictional lives.
I wish I could remember which Grace Livingston Hill novel I read first. It was a long time ago, but I think it was Job’s Niece or Bright Arrows.
Either way, that book is gone now, along with the original dust jacket, because I followed Linda’s example one day and lent it to another friend with the same words Linda said to me: “You’ve got to read this.”
I never got the book back, but that’s okay. I hope my friend enjoyed the book as much as I did and decided to keep it, so she could read it again.
Because that’s exactly what I do with my collection of Grace Livingston Hill books: I re-read them again and again.
How about you? Have you ever read a book by Grace Livingston Hill? What author’s books have a guaranteed place on your keeper-shelf?