The Marker of a Good Book

0 comments Posted on March 17, 2016

Eleanor Gustafsonby Ellie Gustafson

You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney

I know the feeling. Story can abduct us, hold us captive, and keep us in thrall for days after the cover is closed.

How can I possibly name the novels that have affected me this way? My two all-time favorites are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. How many times have I read each? How many movies watched?

Daphne DuMaurier is another favorite—Rebecca, The House on the Strand. Special bits of description stick with me—the creak of a leather saddle, and that famous first line of RebeccaLast night I dreamed I went to Manderley again.

Dickens’ stories are thick with the flavor of 19th-century England—the good, the bad, the ugly. His characters remain deep-etched on my brain.

Anthony Trollope is SO fun! Barchester Towers was my first read, and I knew from page one that I would search out others.

My real treasure trove showed up in the parsonage attic, tucked away in a corner of indifference. I found boxes of books donated by Ella Jane Spaulding. I never met this book-loving woman, but her legacy impacted my life profoundly.

D. smallAs an author, I hope my books stir the hearts and minds of readers as deeply. Getting encouragement through posted reviews such as the one below helps keep that hope alive as I slog through the writing trenches.

“Wow! I just finished reading The Stones. I didn’t want it to end, found myself re-reading the preface, the printing notes, anything to keep from closing it.” ~Fran Matheson

When readers feel this way, I feel successful.

Ellie Gustafson began thinking up stories at a young age but did not begin writing and publishing until 1978. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences include gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story. Her latest work, Dynamo, is a work of fiction, but you will meet characters, both Christian and not, who are caught in ugly, real-life issues. But you’ll also meet faith, forgiveness, trust, and love poured out to the last ounce.

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