In This House of Brede

In This House of Brede

Rumer Godden / Oct 24, 2019

In This House of Brede This extraordinarily sensitive and insightful portrait of religious life centers on Philippa Talbot a highly successful professional woman who leaves her life among the London elite to join a cloiste

  • Title: In This House of Brede
  • Author: Rumer Godden
  • ISBN: 9780829421286
  • Page: 140
  • Format: Paperback
  • This extraordinarily sensitive and insightful portrait of religious life centers on Philippa Talbot, a highly successful professional woman who leaves her life among the London elite to join a cloistered Benedictine community.

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      Published :2018-010-10T04:05:41+00:00

    About "Rumer Godden"

      • Rumer Godden

        Margaret Rumer Godden was born in Sussex, but grew up in India, in Narayanganj Many of her 60 books are set in India Black Narcissus was made into a famous movie with Deborah Kerr in 1947.Godden wrote novels, poetry, plays, biographies, and books for children For information, see the official website Rumer Godden


    1. I re-read this book every year or so. The opening scene where the highly successful businesswoman Philippa is giving away treasured possessions which she will no longer need at Brede abbey, draws you right into this story. The community of Benedictine nuns are a fascinating bunch. Flawed yet likeable, they all have their own stories and Godden doesn't underdevelop any of them. I always felt this would make a sensational mini-series. The very good film starring the great Diana Rigg just can't mat [...]

    2. This is an astonishingly good book. I did not love the theme at all at first. I wanted to scream at Philippa not to join a monastery. It felt like the rest of the book could not possibly be interesting and yet, it was often quite exciting. By page 200 I would call this a page-turner, and yet why? Only surprisingly wonderful writing. My favorite part of this book was the grace shown to the failures of many of the women and how God worked all things together for good in realistic ways in each of t [...]

    3. Deserving more than 5 StarsLast year, I saw that one of my friend was reading this lengthy novel. I went to Barnes and Noble and found it there. But I didn't immediately open it as I thought I would. It has sat on my shelf staring at me. A few days ago, I pulled down In This House of Brede. I knew I was ready to read it. I had the queer feeling that I needed to read Brede. Perhaps, I know deep down that my Aunt Eloise may not be in this world much longer and that I needed the comfort of reading [...]

    4. I've read this at least three times before. It's interesting, because I am an atheist, but I find this book fascinating for its characterization of community life, particularly among women. I am interested in the way it explores a "humble" life--a life lived with a purpose other than financial growth or competition. The characters are very well drawn, the interactions are subtle and complex, and the result is a refreshing read.UPDATE 8/29/07: I just finished this again, and was once more taken w [...]

    5. I read this book following a personal recommendation, and I'm very pleased that I did read it. What I do know is that without this recommendation I probably wouldn't have looked at this book. That is because of the subject matter i.e. life for nuns in a Benedictine monastery. It's to the credit of the author that I found the book interesting, and the characters believable and well rounded. I enjoyed reading about the various rituals, although my favourite parts of the book were actually the auth [...]

    6. Rumer Godden wrote the gripping 1939 novel Black Narcissus about a group of Anglican nuns who attempt to establish a convent school in a former harem palace in the foothills of the Himalayas, the result of which is failure, insanity, and death. Thirty years later Godden returned to the subject of nuns with In This House of Brede and explored it without much of the popular-fiction melodrama. The book was a best-seller anyway because it is fascinating, but it's less of a novel and more of a profil [...]

    7. I am neither religious nor Catholic; I abhor the idea of poverty, chastity, or obedience - yet this book made me want to join a nunnery. A fascinating portrayal of the contemplative life. And how nice to read a book about nuns that doesn't center on having a nun fall in love.

    8. This book has profound meaning for me's about a group of contemplative nuns. If you've ever gotten sick and tired of living in the mundane world, I highly recommend picking up this book. It shows just how hard nuns work, and how their struggles with each other are no different than the struggles that most people have in modern life. Still, there is something beautiful and holy about THIS HOUSE OF BREDE that makes me want to shuck off my sweat pants and don a habit. Especially when the bills come [...]

    9. Re-read: 4/30/2015. Devastating every single time, and I hate when it's over, because I just want to read about these people forever. Everybody should read it.This is quite a book. What is so interesting and wonderful about In This House of Brede is that while it is in effect a novel about one woman's journey from successful career woman to Benedictine nun, Godden reveals to us the struggles and thoughts of a multitude of women. As several of the nuns point out throughout the novel, it is so eas [...]

    10. A Good Story is Hard to Find #97). Let's face it. Reading In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden is the closest either Julie or Scott will come to being cloistered nuns==========This is Godden's masterwork and I don't say that lightly.I'm not sure how many times I've read this book it could be six or it could be ten. You know a book's a classic when you learn something new about yourself every time you read it. Such was the case this time around also. And it still made me cry at a couple of key [...]

    11. What do you ask?To try my vocation as a Benedictine in this house of Brede.I was mesmerized by this quiet novel about a community of cloistered nuns, which begins with Philippa, a sophisticated, cosmopolitan businesswoman, giving away her possessions in preparation for entering Brede as a novice - at the age of 42.It’s a character-driven novel, with little in the way of plot. There are about 96 nuns living at Brede (there’s a rather daunting dramatis personæ at the beginning) and the novel [...]

    12. I am currently looking for books that aren't about war, concentration camps or genocide, since I feel I've read enough of them recently. This was a book recommended to me by the Bot because I read Kristin Lavransdatter and Island of the World both Catholic books. I'm not Catholic, but I enjoyed all three books very much. Why would a 40 year old woman with a successful career want to become a nun? The answer unfolds slowly and gently along with at least two other engrossing subplots. If you enjo [...]

    13. I read this book when I was in my teens, all through the Christmas Vacation of 1972. I neglected my studies, but I do not regret it. I reread it many times and it never fails to grip me and the sheer beauty of the book leaves me in tears.Philippa Talbot enters the Abbey of Brede when she is successful, at the peak of her career, all her friends are astounded, but for her the life that she had led was simply not enough. Yes, she chooses to leave all her worldly possessions in pursuit of a life as [...]

    14. This book taught me a lot about cloister life. After growing up catholic, I wish these nuns were the ones to teach me. Maybe I would still feel like a catholic today. The nuns in the community focused on self-improvement and discipline, hard work, everyone had a function, everyone was needed in the community. Even though the book went into great detail about the daily habits, ceremonies, traditions the nuns kept, it went into little detail about the power of prayer. The author did not quite exac [...]

    15. If a 600+ page novel on a Benedictine monastery sounds dry to you, fear not! Godden tells a marvelous story that is not in the least dull. This book contains nuanced character development, an easy-to-read storytelling style, and plots and subplots that keep the pages turning. For me, there is also something unexpectedly comforting about the rhythmic, rich inner world of this cloistered community. Beyond just being a thoroughly enjoyable story, this book helped me to understand and appreciate so [...]

    16. I LOVED this book. It is such a faithful, warm and real portrayal of women, women who are very easy to connect with, despite their cloistered life. Rumer G's writing style suited me perfectly. She slips in dialoge in an interesting way, almost like asides, that made me feel like I was a confidant, or I was in the room with the women. There were scenes that made me laugh, that made me cry, times I was shocked and times I felt awe. Just lovely, and perfect for Lent.

    17. It was particularly moving reading this book in a group of friends who, like me, were homeschooling multiple children and overwhelmed by the lack of solitude, etc. A nun's life seemed quite intriguing to us! Godden reminds us that wherever we go, we carry ourselves with us, and that beauty and fullness can be found in wildly disparate kinds of lives.

    18. This book had been on my list for several years, and when I finally found a copy of it, I took the plunge. As a Protestant, I had several misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding monasteries, and I knew virtually nothing of life in one. This book helped enlighten me. I cannot say I enjoyed the book though, because I found it somewhat slow and tedious. Maybe the author was intentional with that, or maybe it was just me bringing my tiredness to my reading time. Either way, I was glad when I [...]

    19. I loved this book. I had feared it would be heavy or require a lot of thought. It did, in fact, cause me to think a lot, but not to try and figure out what happened or what it meant. This was a wonderful study of one woman's life in a monestary. How she decided to enter, the history of her life beforehand, how she lives the rest of her life once she takes her vows.I also learned a lot about the religion and beliefs of the Benedictine order.Maybe it just caught me at an opportune time, being righ [...]

    20. Rumer Godden is a prolific writer who converted to Catholicism as an adult. She is brilliant at character development and her characters are fully fleshed out and so very interesting. In this novel, we follow a woman as she discerns her vocation as a nun. We see her whole life in segments as she learns to adust to her life in cloister. Fabulous read!!!

    21. Religious life, specifically cloistered life, has always intrigued me. My first experience of monastic life first came to me when I was a little boy. I used to travel to my grandparent’s summer home in Oka, Quebec in the area of the Lower Laurentians on the Lake of Two Mountains. In that area was a well known Trappist Monastery in which we would frequently visit to buy their homemade honey, cheese and chocolate. I remember my curiosity at seeing the Trappists clad in their long robes with thei [...]

    22. Advice for future readers: 1. I do not recommend this as the first book by Rumer Godden to read. 2. read the preface3. read the publisher's note at the end before starting the book. This is glossary/description of the Benedictine Life. I didn't notice it until I'd finished, instead I just read the page about Benedictines which isn't as informative.4. mark the page with the list of characters, you might find it helpful to keep biographical notes, too.Now, my review:Another Rumer Godden novel abo [...]

    23. This is, in my opinion, a most enchanting book. It is the story of a number of years in the life of Brede Abbey, a fictional English Catholic woman’s monastery, and the nuns who live there. The book opens very simply with Penny Stevens, the juniorest typist in a government office run by a Mrs. Philippa Talbot, who Penny adores. On this particular day Penny can tell that something is going to happen—namely that Mrs. Talbot has been given a promotion. She is called into Mrs. Talbot’s office [...]

    24. I was attracted to this book by two things - the author is the writer of one of my cherished children's Christmas books, "The Holly and the Ivy", and the subject, Benedictine cloistered nuns. Cloistered meaning the nuns, called Dame, not Sister live inside the walls of their "house", not convent, spending their days and nights in silent contemplation and prayer. They are not completely silent, nor close off the world completely but their calling requires intense concentration. The narrative styl [...]

    25. In the 1950’s, a successful businesswoman was a rare and precious thing. This book introduces us to the fictional Philippa, just such a woman. Wealthy, fashionable, well-connected Philippa is also a widow, the mother of a deceased child, and a woman with a vocation – she leaves her prosperous and successful London life for the monastic life. She becomes a nun.This book is a beautiful portrait of religious life.You’d think that contemplative living would be peaceful and serene. And it is. B [...]

    26. Philippa Talbot was a director at her London office when she announced she was giving up her career. She felt a vocation to religious life and joined the Benedictines at Brede, a ficticious Abbey. The story tracks her life with the Benedictines as well as the other nuns' experiences. We learn about Philippa's secrets and how she meets the challenges that await her. There is a rhythm of life at the Abbey with prayers and chanting at certain times of day, reading, and work. The book follows the nu [...]

    27. I read this book for the first time in 1972 and reading it again has given me just as much pleasure as it did then. Philippa Talbot at the age of 42 is a successful business woman and seems the most unlikely of people to give up her high flying career and become a Benedictine nun, living a life off quiet contemplation in an enclosed convent. It is hard for anyone giving up their life in the world for the austere conventual existence, but for a woman who is older and more accustomed to being in c [...]

    28. I love this book and it is not a subject I was drawn to. It is about a Benedictine Abbey for women and they are contemplative, only see visitors through a grille once they have taken their vows. It is peaceful but the group of nuns create their own enviroment. The main character does not enter the order until she is in her early forties and her adjustment is somewhat difficult. The author is English but lived in India until she was a teenager. She describes the individual sisters and their diffe [...]

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