How I came to possess Elizabeth Goudge’s The Child from the Sea was in a very roundabout way. It happened a few years back, while I was working as an administrative assistant at a furniture store. As part of the “staging,” there was a variety of old books that would be placed upon bookcases or other shelving.
Past experience has taught me that treasures can be hidden in the least probable places, so I went through the store reading over the various titles. Most of these books were not very interesting—mostly Readers Digest Condensed volumes and that sort of thing—but among them was a nondescript, black-bound hardcover with “GOUDGE” on the binding.
At the time I hadn’t read anything by Elizabeth Goudge myself, but as she’s one of my mom’s “target” authors and collects all of her works, I mentioned it to her. I remember my mom being a bit horrified that a book like that should be collecting dust, unread and forgotten in a furniture store. She said about as much to one of my coworkers one day when she visited me at work.
This happened to be around Mother’s Day, and my coworker, with the generosity of giving away something that didn’t necessarily belong to him, immediately handed it to her as an early gift.
(Lest anyone accuse either him or my mother of stealing, I “donated” one of my books to take its place upon the shelf—A Geological Survey of Syria or something along that line.)