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The Pastor's Wife

Elizabeth von Arnim

Book Overview: 

A tale about a young woman, freed up from the bonds of her family life, to wander all around in search of all things feminist. The story seems somewhat autobiographical, surrounded in disillusionment and humor. Written on the eve of World War I and just back from married life in Germany.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Judith?"

"Notice?" said Ingeborg faintly.

"Your father was wounded, dear. He thought it showed so little real love for your parents and your sister."

"But—" said Ingeborg, looking from one to the other.

"We wrote to you at once—directly we knew. Didn't we, Judith?"

"Of course," said Judith.

Ingeborg stood flushing and turning pale. Had one of the Dent's Tour people somehow found out where she lived and written about her engagement and the impossible had happened and they weren't going to mind? Was it possible? Did they know? And were taking it like this? If only she had called at her aunt's house on the way to Paddington and got the letters—what miserable hours of terror she would have been spared!

"But—" she began. Then the immense relief of it suddenly flooded her whole being with a delicious warm softness. They did know. Somehow. And a miracle had happened. Oh, how kind God was!

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Community Reviews

What a roller coaster ride this was! I was so surprised at ever turn. What utterly perfect and marvelous character development. What exquisite changes in points of view. This is exactly what I read Elizabeth von Arnim for. She makes me smile. Sometimes she sort of breaks my heart. She never bores me

This is actually one of von Arnim’s darker works in my opinion. ‘Vera’ takes the cake on that front. But when you read passages like what is below…it made me apprehensive when I was reading stuff like this (Ingeborg, one of the main protagonists, during and after childbirth).
• “And still later, when

Look at the title—this is a story about the pastor’s wife, Ingeborg. Before becoming the pastor’s wife, she was the Bishop’s daughter. Later, she is also a famed portrait painter’s muse and a traveler. The question to be answered is if she will ever be her own master Must she always be possessed or

English woman Ingeborg is a young bishop's daughter, charming and cheerful. The year is approximately 1910 or so. As the book opens Ingeborg is trundled off by her parents to London where she is supposed to get a toothache fixed, the country dental situation being not so good. She has a little wad o

Elizabeth von Arnim has that elusive quality, wit. Unlike humor or books written to amuse and entertain, wit must be appreciated through the lens of the reader's own experiences. You read a sentence or paragraph, nodding your head and chuckling because you get it. And you feel intelligent because of

I wasn't sure whether to be happy or sad for Ingeborge by the end of this book. She got the ending she wanted, but I felt she deserved better.

I enjoyed Ingeborg's brief escapes. Women going quietly about their work might suddenly break out and do surprising things. People you take for granted might have an inner life you never imagined. von Arnim has a predominantly negative view of men in most of her writing - it seems to have been her l

I believe I am getting to the root of what I love and don't love about Von Arnim's writing. I love her autobiographical and first-person POV work. I love her insights into life, love, and nature. I love her optimism and happiness and boundless joy at small pleasures. I love that she loves to be alon

This was my second von Arnim read, and I am rather amazed at this author's ability to confront complex women's issues and still maintain a light touch. By that I mean that the heavy issues are not confronted head-on, but are wrapped in layers of humor, heady descriptions of nature, and forays into a

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