(The original hardback covers that first attracted my attention)
I discovered the Starbridge Series over 18 years ago.
I remember that quite clearly because I was pregnant with my daughter. We were living at Lake Rotoma in a tiny bach that we had painted burgundy and black and hung a striped hammock on the front decking. You could lie on that hammock and gently sway accompanied by a vivid blue sky, ferns and native bird song. And all the while I was nurturing life (and being completely transformed in the process).
Living in a tiny settlement in the middle of rural New Zealand, I could choose which direction to drive for an adventure – either turn left to drive to Rotorua, 40 minutes away or turn right to drive to Kawerau, 15 minutes away, or continue to Whakatane, 50 minutes away. Each location had a public library so a trip usually meant a new armful of books.
One particular day I went to Kawerau Library (which had a huge real tree growing inside the library!)
…and discovered them.
Do you ever have that feeling when you discover a new book or series and you just know it’s going to be a significant presence in your life? That it’s going to transform or haunt you in some way? That’s what happened when I came across ‘The Starbridge Series.’
Set in England in the Twentieth Century, it’s a series of six books focused on clergymen and laypeople of the Anglican Church. Howatch does a fantastic job of showing the history of that time. Maybe that doesn’t sound very exciting but the stories are incredible.
A Mesmerising Cover…
Isn’t it funny what attracts us to a book? At least, we think we know the reason but I’m convinced that whatever it is that attracts us is just a vehicle to get our attention. I loved the book covers to the Starbridge Series. The editions held by Kawerau Library back in 2001 were all hardback and each cover had a different stained glass window (I’ve included pictures of each book cover at the beginning of this rave – even though they aren’t good quality – because I wanted you to see them). These covers completely captivated me. As soon as I saw the first one I had to read it and was completely caught up in the stories, the theological discussions, and the writing. These books stayed with me, quietly working inside me.