Elizabeth Goudge brings her eloquence and reverence to a beloved topic- the life of St. Francis. There's something about this specific man, some spark that he had, that causes his life to keep burning in our memory several centuries after he died. St. Francis is claimed by broad groups of people from devout Catholics to modern environmentalists, his piety and peace in the natural world appeal to many.
You may know him from his recorded prayers, or you may only know him from the garden statutes where he holds up the bird-bath, but it is likely that you know of him.
This account of his life may be hard to read at times, because the pain Francis inflicted upon himself in pursuit of holiness rings harshly on today's ears. His desire to strip himself of everything but God led him to treat his own mind and body sternly, demanding service from himself and accepting so little in return.
If you would like a book where the language sings, and ushers you into contemplation, this may be it. If you would like a biography of a saint that takes us deeper into the glory and the grit, that shows you the Light in his soul and the soil on his feet, then this may be it.
I thank Plough Publishing and Handlebar Publicity for providing me with this review copy.