Review 1648: Joanna Godden

At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like Joanna very much, in this novel that is essentially a character study. She is large and brash. She likes to wear bright colors and to impress people. She is a fine figure of a woman.

As a young woman, she inherits her father’s sheep farm on Walland Marsh in far southeastern Kent. From the first, she will take no advice. She’ll run her farm the way she wants, and she scandalizes the neighborhood for firing her father’s shepherd of 28 years, for painting her wagons and her house yellow, and for other such offences against tradition.

At first, she makes some costly mistakes in her willingness to experiment. She hires a shepherd just because she likes his looks, but he is too docile and inexperienced to warn her when she’s about to make a big mistake in breeding. She sends her little sister Ellen away to a posh boarding school and gets back a sulky, discontented young woman who thinks she is too good for the farm.

I couldn’t help growing to love this heroine, though. She is bumptious but well-intentioned, pushy but kind. By the end of the novel, I was touched and sorry it was coming to a close. I read it for my Classics Club list and hope to find more by the author.

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4 thoughts on “Review 1648: Joanna Godden

  1. piningforthewest April 19, 2021 / 5:18 pm

    I’ve never read any novels by Sheila Kaye-Smith but I did fairly recently read her book called All the Books of My Life, which was interesting. I’ll look out for this one.

    • whatmeread April 19, 2021 / 11:55 pm

      This and a book of short stories is all I have read.

  2. Jane April 21, 2021 / 9:16 am

    That’s such a great feeling when you don’t want a book to end, I’ve never heard of this writer but have taken a note!

    • whatmeread April 21, 2021 / 11:35 am

      I haven’t been able to find much by her.

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