Wednesday Wisdom from A Year of Marvellous Ways

Posted March 24, 2021 by elzaread in Wednesday Wisdom / 10 Comments

Greetings! We haven’t done a Wednesday Wisdom in ages. I’m convinced that is the reason for my Mommy doing all sorts of funny and crazy things lately. She needs to start enjoying the holidays now and gain some new wisdom. Like the wisdom of Marvellous Ways. Yes, that is actually someone’s name. I don’t care if it’s a fictional character, I think her name is simply, well, marvelous!
It was a strange little book and my Mommy didn’t like it quite as much as When God was a Rabbit. But Marvellous’ infinite wisdom sure did earn her a place for a Wednesday Wisdom post.



Cornwall, 1947. Marvellous Ways is a ninety-year-old woman who’s lived alone in a remote creek for nearly all her life. Recently she’s taken to spending her days sitting on the steps of her caravan with a pair of binoculars. She’s waiting for something – she’s not sure what, but she’ll know it when she sees it. Freddy Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the war. He’s agreed to fulfil a dying friend’s last wish and hand-deliver a letter to the boy’s father in Cornwall. But Freddy’s journey doesn’t go to plan, and sees him literally wash up in Marvellous’ creek, broken in body and spirit. When Marvellous comes to his aid, an unlikely friendship grows between the two. Can Freddy give Marvellous what she needs to say goodbye to the world, and can she give him what he needs to go on?


It took us weeks to get get through the book, because you need to read it slowly and then go and think a bit and sleep on it. But my Mommy loved Marvellous Ways and her marvelous ways.



As you can see from the Goodreads blurb, the era is 1947.  A mere 2 years after the end of WWII and the world is slowly starting to come to life again. Or not.
“Old ways of life don’t return when lives themselves have never returned.”
“Those left behind prayed constantly for peace, but prayers came back with ‘Return to Sender’ stamped all over them.”
“Coming back from the dead is not quite the same as coming back to life.”


If there’s really a story with a beginning and an ending in this book, is hard to pin down. It’s like the ocean – tides come in and  tides go out and sometimes get mingled up a bit. Not to mention everything else that can get mingled up in the ocean. And in between, there’s life, death, heartache, despair, hope, tall tales, fish and rumours.


We won’t necessarily recommend A Year of Marvellous Ways to everybody, the same way we won’t recommend When God was a Rabbit to everyone. But if you love books that are filled with poetic writing and infinite wisdom, this one might be for you.
Here’s our review for When God was a Rabbit
Lots of Love,



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10 responses to “Wednesday Wisdom from A Year of Marvellous Ways

  1. I thought I'd left a comment, but maybe I was disturbed and forgot all about it :/ Anyway, I remember thinking historical novel, Cornwall, what's not to love ? I love those pieces of wisdom and wow, that cover is gorgeous !

    • It is a beautiful cover and I love the title. Imagine your name is Marvellous? In South Africa, we have a number of ladies who are called Precious an Patience and so forth. But this is in a different league!

  2. I have a dreamcatcher in my room, so the note about "rumor" catching caught my eye. But no, I think I am going to pass this one on, just like When God was a Rabbit. Need some reality escape these days! ~Lex

    • Hi Lex, it's not an easy read and I think if I wasn't so in love with the beautiful writing, I might have given it only 1 star. The Rumor Catcher idea was lovely though.

  3. This sounds like a lovely read and one that could come at just the right time. I call these kind of books "chocolate box" books because they're best savored bit by bit.

    • It was interesting yes, the story was a bit here and there and everywhere, and although most things did tie up nicely, it did still leave me a bit unsatisfied. If you take only the story and the history, I think it might actually make a lovely movie. But then the writing is just soooo marvelous!

  4. I love books that make you think and can be read slowly and savored. Hope your human is enjoying holiday Elza! 🙂