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.

The Lilies of the Field by William E. Barrett

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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