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The Little Minister

J. M. Barrie

Book Overview: 

Before "Peter Pan" came "The Little Minister", J.M. Barrie's first published novel. This is not a children's book, but reflections on life in a remote village in Scotland. The story opens with the minister and his mother moving into the village of Thrums, where the minister must earn the respect of the villagers, threading his way through class differences, politics and suspicion of the travelling gypsies. But what would happen if the newly respectable minister of Thrums fell in love with a gypsy woman? And how will her secret impact upon them all?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .wondering how the sojers has come to a stop at the tap o’ the brae instead o’ marching on the town. Here’s the reason. They agreed to march straucht to the square if the alarm wasna given, but if it was they were to break into small bodies and surround the town so that you couldna get out. That’s what they’re doing now.”

At this the screams were redoubled, and many men lifted the weapons they had dropped.

“Believe her not,” cried Gavin. “How could a wandering gypsy know all this?”

“Ay, how can you ken?” some demanded.

“It’s enough that I do ken,” the Egyptian answered. “And this mair I ken, that the captain of the soldiers is confident he’ll nab every one o’ you that’s wanted unless you do one thing.”

“What is ’t?”


“If . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book was my favorite book for a while (before I read Tale of Two Cities). I don't know why I liked it so much, because it was a normal, old-fashioned romance, and I have probably read several dozen of those. But much of it was funny, and the story moved quickly but was deep enough to be enjoyab

I started reading the play of the same title. But when I looked for it in goodreads, I only found the novel, which had been written first, and of which the play is an adaptation. And the novel had very good reviews. I then interrupted the play and switched to the novel.

It is a delightful read. One c

I love this little book. It's so simple but extremely charming. The ending is suspenseful and action-packed, and even though the beginning is slower, it's worth it. The characters are fun to get to know, and by the end, I felt like I was another villager from Thrums who knew everybody and everybody'

A comedic drama with love stories, action, and heartache, this novel is a far cry from Barrie's well-known Peter Pan, and well worth the read.

4.5 stars
I can't believe more people haven't read this one. Such a treat.

Young minister living with elderly mother assigned to a new church. Meets a "gypsy" girl trying to save the the town from incoming soldiers. Clever gypsy outwits most of the town. Little Minister is uncertain of how to proceed

I love, love, love this book! I can hardly believe it’s by the same author as Peter Pan (which I’ve never been able to get through).
That moment when he is about to die and begins singing the 23rd Psalm...more

Babbie wants a man who could be her master, to force her into yielding if she coax him.
Gavin is onboard.

This is another book that I hadn't read even though it's been on the shelf for years. It took a week for me to plow through it, mainly because I found the vernacular so awkward. For example:

p 20: I dinna gang to the kirk to cry, 'Oh, Lord, gie, gie, gie.'
"Take tent o' yousel', my man," said Lang Tam

I was craving a children's book with grown-up characters and this pretty much fit the bill. My least favorite parts were the three continuously soggy chapters after the flood and the narrator dominie's lack of sympathy for animals. It was uncomfortable to have characters randomly stepping over dead

I read this because I saw the Katherine Hepburn movie.

It was a pleasant read, though a bit difficult getting through the Scottish dialect/language parts.

I actually don't remember how the movie resolved itself, but the book felt different, and definitely better. The characters felt less like carica

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