barn house
Literary Pursuits

Book Review: The Enchanted Barn

barn house

My friend Heather and her family moved into a barn this summer. They really did. Isn’t it pretty? You can read about it on their family’s blog: To Sow a Seed.

I’ve always thought it would be kinda cool to live in a barn. I have Grace Livingston Hill to thank for that. When I was a teen I loved Grace Livingston Hill’s “heartwarming and wholesome” novels. And yes, they were way vintage, even then. Lately, I’ve been on a vintage kick so I’ve reread a few this summer.

The Enchanted Barn one is probably my all-time favorite. I have read it more than once. It is precious beyond belief. Seriously. The whole scenario is definitely the stuff of fairy tales.

The heroine is a hard-working, sensible young lady of impeccable virtue who is struggling to support her ill, widowed mother and four younger siblings. They are about to be evicted from the slummy little shack they live in but they can only afford $15 a month for rent! Did I mention the story was written in 1918? Apparently, though, that was really cheap, even then, because dear little Shirley just can’t manage to find another house in that price range.

Since the title kinda gives it away, I guess it’s not really a spoiler to say that she finds a barn for her family to live in. For $10 a month. What is “enchanted” about it is that it is owned by a rich young man who is terribly impressed with our heroine and helps her fix it up. It’s a rags-to-riches romance of the first order, but it also includes adventure, intrigue, and even a little espionage. What more could you want in a novel?

Grace Livingston Hill was gifted at writing descriptions. Her stories seem hokey for today’s readers, but were very popular in their day. This particular one just makes me want to find a lovely old stone barn to make into a home. Especially if I could find one for $10 a month.

Have you ever read any novels by Grace Livingston Hill?

Want to give The Enchanted Barn a try? The ebook is available FREE in the Kindle format and the audio book is FREE at LibriVox.

{Photo credit: Heather Schwarzen}
{Linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays.}

6 Comments

  • rachelgoingcreative

    Well, yep, I read some of her books also! I always felt so helpless for her when she came home from work and found only celery hearts and chicken broth for supper, as though she was surprised that was all she found. I will have to check out your friend’s blog. I believe I could fix up a barn to live in!!!! Most definitely, and yes, dog, kittens, and horse on bottom level, we “peoples” on top!!

  • Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

    I’ve not heard of her! I immediately, before I even finished reading your post, set out to find it at our library. I typed in the name of the book in the search bar and got one hit: Joseph Lister and the Story of Antiseptics by John Bankston. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how that came up from my search. However, I was happy to see the free Kindle version at the bottom of your post! I downloaded it but it will need to wait a while whilst I work through some other books higher on the TBR pile.

  • Michael Ann

    I’m on quite a GLH spree these days, Karla! She’s just what my heart needed after Hurricane Matthew. I think I’m on my fourth book from the GLH Collection I bought back in August after you posted this review. The Enchanted Barn has been one of my favorites! (I’m reading the collection out of order! GASP!)

I look forward to reading your comments. Thanks for joining in the conversation! ~Karla

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