Sunday, November 30, 2008

Book Review: The Lilies of the Field

Name: The Lilies of the Field
Author: William E. Barrett
Brief summary: Homer Smith is an itinerant handyman/jack-of-all-trades who stops at a farm in the Arizona desert to see what is happening at the farm since there is no man around. The farm is run by a group of German nuns. He is persuaded to do a small roofing repair by Mother Maria. He stays overnight, believing that he will be paid in the morning. He is tries to persuade Mother Maria by quoting a bible but Mother Maria as back in a verse saying, Look at the lilies of the field, they continue to appear beautiful even though they get no payment. The bloom is to honor God, but not to get paid for their work.In fact, the nuns have no money and subsist only by living off the land, on what vegetables the arid climate provides, and some milk and eggs. Even after being stalled/stonewalled when asking for payment, and after being persuaded to stay for a meal, and against his better judgement, Smith agrees to stay another day to help them with other small jobs, always with the faint hope that Mother Maria Marthe, the head nun (called "Mother Maria" and played by Lilia Skala in the film) will settle with him. As Smith's strength and many construction skills, and tools, are revealed to the small order of nuns as he finishes the repairs needed, they come to believe that he has been sent by God to help them in their dream of building a chapel for the nearby townsfolk. (from

Grade/Age level: 10 and up
Cautions: none
If you like this book, you might also like . . . I'm not sure....
Personal Opinion: What a great, fun, book! I had to read it for school, but I barely noticed! It's a quick read, but awesome anyway!
Rating: 9/10
Random tidbit: There's a great movie version! It's starring Sidney Poiter. Apparently he's famous. :D

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