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A Rough Shaking

George MacDonald

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . anything was given him, he would look up and smile, but he seldom showed much pleasure, or went beyond the regulation thanks. But if at such a moment little Mary were by, he had a curious way of catching her up and presenting her to the giver. Whether this was a shape his thanks took, whether Mary was to him an incorporate gratitude, or whether he meant to imply that she was the fitter on whom to shower favour, it were hard to say. His mother observed, and in her mind put the two things together, that he did not seem to prize much any mere possession. He looked pleased with a new suit of clothes, but if any one remarked on his care of them, he would answer, "I mustn't spoil what's papa and mamma's!" He made no hoard of any kind. He did once hoard marbles till he had about a hundred; then it was discovered that they were for a certain boy in the village who was counted half-witted—as indeed was Clare himself by many. When he learned that the boy had first been accused of stealing. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book has a nature-child ideal.... it's has an interesting philosophical response to Voltaire's Candide and the "best of all possible worlds" idea.

This is the tale of an orphaned boy who wanders the earth in abject poverty, facing a long string of injustices that would turn many people into unhappy, embittered souls. But not Clare! The argument could be made that some of George MacDonald's protagonists are too glorious to be believable. This c

I found this a lovely narration with a quiet sense of the sovereignty of the Creator and the senselessness of not trusting Him. I was not so much interested in the various adventures of our boy hero as in moments of sympathetic beauty amid the narration.

The storyline: A toddler found amid the rubbl

A solid Dickensian effort from George MacDonald. While the sentimental Christian romanticizing and overt, knowing philosophizing throughout the book were on occasion grating and even sometimes contradictory to one another, the plot and characters all felt aboundingly fresh and engaging. MacDonald of

I love all of George Macdonald's books, including the unspoken sermons. This book tells a story about a boy named Clare. How I grew to love him as I read along. He seems to be the model of what the Lord is referring to when He says that we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of God