This post contains affiliate links. As part of her homeschool curriculum, Cuddle Bug had to read The Lilies of the Field by William E Barrett. I was not familiar with the book, but I had heard of the movie starring Sidney Poitier. The book was short–127 pages, but we both enjoyed it.
About The Lilies of the Field by William E Barrett
This is a short, simple story about a man, Homer Smith, who is financially self-sufficient. He rambles around the United States and works when the fancy strikes him. He is out West when he drives by some nuns working in a field and decides to see if they need any work done around the property. The head nun, Mother Maria Marthe, declares that God is good because He sent a strong man to her.
In heavily accented German, Mother Marthe orders Smith (“Schmidt” to her) around the property. She ultimately asks him to build a chapel. Meanwhile, in the evening, Smith tries to teach the nuns English. This book was written in 1962, and Smith, a black man, tells the nuns that if they learn English from him, they’ll get segregated in some parts of the country. However, he has a sweet relationship with the nuns, even buying extra food to help them supplement their meager diet.
My Thoughts on The Lilies of the Field
Cuddle Bug and I both enjoyed the book, but I would have liked to have seen it developed a bit further. While the writing is concise and often humorous, I wanted the narrator to dig a little deeper into Homer and his thoughts and actions.
I give The Lilies of the Field by William E Barrett 4 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.
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