‘Gossip from the Forest’ – some thoughts

Reviews and thoughts from reading

September 13, 2013 | Posted By: | Reviews · Thoughts |

Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland

I saw this book advertised and it spoke to me, reached out and said you must read me – you must buy me. So I did, not as an e-book, it needed to be tangible, touched and kept. It promised the connection to things that stir me; trees, fairy tales and real places in real times. I knew nothing of the author Sara Maitland, I now have hints; pilgrimages of silence in the Sinai dessert, a purposeful and engaging speaker, an ‘old girl’ of St Mary’s, and a writer whose ideas and stories stay with and change you. Each chapter within this book is a different forest, a different month and a different fairy tale. It is a look at British Isles heritage, the stories and origins that have their spirit in the landscapes and souls of the people and places. It is a book I will return to. I needed to share it with friends so it became and will continue to become a present from me – some books just have to be shared.  The tale of Little Red Riding Hood has haunted me since I was a child and now Maitland’s version of the story and setting resonates and disturbs deeper and I must visit those trees once more….

I loved this book. The fact that it started in March was a jolt to my system already contemplating the fact that I felt the year started in March not January, and then as I read on more meditative insights began to come to light. It is a book that helps you look within the tangle of your own life, look at the stories that shape you and the trees and landscape that penetrates deeper than any manmade construct.

I read this at a time when I needed the wisdom of stories, I needed the guidance of a sage and I wanted to connect to something that sustains the spirit. Trees do that for me, stories do that for me and actually they do that for many of us… “The Gossip of my title is the encouraging, private, spiritual, spiritual talk that we all want in times of trouble. Stories that are not idle; tales that are not trifling.” Sara Maitland – I thank you.