garden purple

“But she observed her sister, hoping to learn something. All she could find out, though, was that Lucy took an absorbed interest in things she herself could take no interest in at all; endless books for instance, tame solitary pursuits like gardening and walking, domestic drudgery like cooking and working in the house, in silly things like hens, and in going to the help of tiresome people in the village who were always appealing to her about something. Lucy also took an open, and in Vera’s opinion, eccentric interest in God. She wanted to know more and more about God, she said.  She said life was discovery and that was why you didn’t need to mind about growing old, because the older you got the farther you walked down the road of life and the more you found out. She thought that after death you went on learning. She really believed it, you could see it in her face, glowing with an interest which merely surprised Vera who felt nothing of it at all.” – from They Were Sisters

This passage neatly sums up the character of Lucy and is why I love her so. I admire her seemingly simple view of life, her uncomplicated interests and her idea that life is all about discovery. I’ve read this paragraph several times and it thrills and appeals to me each time.

Is there a character from a novel whose philosophy of life resonates with you?


  1. Lucy sounds like a wonderful character to read about. I have always admired Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. She is kind, practical, self-sacrificing and in her own way brave.

  2. I can understand why you love Lucy, and I think that if I had to pick one favourite I think it would be Trollope’s Madame Max

  3. I agree with you – Lucy is the one.

  4. It’s a wonderful juxtaposition, isn’t it, between “silly things like hens” and God. Marvellous writing.

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