Thursday, September 10, 2015
MY GOD AND MY ALL -The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi BY Elizabeth Goudge
“MY GOD AND MY ALL- The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi” by Elizabeth Goudge reads like a novel not like a traditional biography. That was my opinion after reading the first chapter of this book, it was not my first impression.
I chose to read and review this book because I had heard of Francis of Assissi but did not know anything about him. Unfortunately, for me, I began to have difficulties once I read “Other great men may alter the material aspect of life for millions, generations, but the saints make us for eternity.” This one sentence found on page 1 did not set well with my beliefs because I believe all Christians are “saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 1:1, and other verses). It is my understanding that the designation of “sainthood” to individuals is a Catholic doctrine of which I cannot accept therefore I began reading with a personal bias. In addition I firmly believe that each person can influence one person and this is what makes a difference.
I continued to have problems with this book because of the writing style of the author. She wrote as if she was an eyewitness in the life of Francis of Assissi who was born in 1182. The author, Elizabeth Goudge lived from 1900 to 1984 and was an award winning novelist. The details in which she writes which includes dialog assumes that the events presented happened exactly as stated. There is a bibliography sited at the end of the 310 page novel/ biography.
MY GOD AND MY ALL- The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi” originally written in 1959, though well written, is not suitable as a research tool. Anyone who chooses to research a person with a reputation such as Francis of Assisi would do better reading the writings of any of the individuals listed in the Bibliography.
I would not recommend this book to any of my friends however it may be enjoyable for a person who simply seeks a superficial knowledge of a Catholic history.