Faith ‘n’ Fiction Roundtable: Godric by Frederick Buechner

For Faith’n’Fiction Saturday this week, I participated in a round table discussion with several other bloggers about: Godric: A Novel by Frederick Buechner (Harper Collins, 1980), 192 pages

Brief book summary and overview

Godric tells the story of Godric of Finchale, with some sections coming in chronological order, starting from his childhood, and others coming at the end of his life, as Reginald is recording Godric’s story for posterity.

I had several reasons to read this book:
• This Roundtable discussion,
• It’s on the Image Journal list of which I’ve made a perpetual challenge, and
• It was suggested reading for Hutchmoot.
I didn’t finish before Hutchmoot started, but I was reading it while I was there.

A couple quotes I loved:

“Go now. Do good. For there’s no good a man does in this world, however small, but bears sweet fruit though he may never taste of it himself.”

~pages 38-39, Cuthbert speaking

And:

“The voice of silence calls, ‘Be still and hear,’ poor dunce,” she said. “The empty well within your heart calls too. It says, ‘Be full.'”

~page 70, Gillian speaking to Godric

I really enjoyed the book, the writing as well as the content. While not a book filled with lovely things, Godric is beautifully written and jammed full of content. [It’s (like so many I’ve read this year, it seems) very much written from a man’s perspective. In this case that’s more shocking at points than off-putting.]


And now a small part of the discussion, which is spread out over the blogs of all the participants, divided topically.

Familiarity with Buechner and the real Godric

Amy: Have you previously read anything by Frederick Buechner or did you have any familiarity with Godric of Finchale?

Hannah: This is my first Buechner and my first encounter with Godric of Finchale. It won’t be my last, though! I felt at a disadvantage because I didn’t know the history well.

Teresa: Godric was the second Buechner novel that I’ve read. I read Brenden several years ago, but I don’t remember much about it. I’ve also read some of Buechner’s essays, but again, it was a long time ago. This was my first exposure to Godric of Finchale’s story as well.

Heather: I haven’t read any Buechner and didn’t know anything about Godric prior to this reading.

Pete: I’ve read quite a few of Buechner’s books but Godric was my first and remains my favorite.

Carrie: Godric was my first experience with Frederick Buechner, although I’ve wanted to read something by him ever since I saw him listed in an “authors of faith” list — I don’t remember where. I’d never heard of Godric of Finchale before reading this.

Bryan: In answer to the first part of the question, I had read nonfiction works by Buechner in college which I enjoyed immensely and so was very interested in reading some of his fiction work. As for the second part, I had no familiarity with Godric of Finchale until I read Buechner’s historical note at the end.

Thomas: No. I guess that was a simple question to answer. I do plan on rereading Godric and I plan on adding another Buechner book to my reading list in the future.

Amy: I’d previously read a few of Buechner’s nonfiction books … essays and memoirs, both of which I loved. Godric was a different sort of experience.


For more of the conversation, visit

My Friend Amy :: Headquarters
Unfinished Person :: The language of the book
My Random Thoughts :: Overall impression
The Fiddler’s Gun :: Godric’s relationship with his sister
Shelf Love :: Perception
Book Addiction :: Merits of rereading
Books and Movies :: Prayer passage


I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

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6 responses to “Faith ‘n’ Fiction Roundtable: Godric by Frederick Buechner

  1. Pingback: Faith’n’Fiction Saturday Round Table: Godric by Frederick Buechner | an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  2. I have enjoyed reading the round table comments on this one. This is a book I would like to try as well, for the most part it seems it was enjoyed and a few of the round table participants really sold me on it.

  3. FYI – here is a link to many of Frederick Buechner’s books: http://www.harpercollins.com/author/microsite/books.aspx?authorid=1291 and here is a great book written about Buechner’s books: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Buechner-Journey-through-Writings/dp/0664231136

  4. This book was highly recommended to me recently. Thanks for reminding me to get my hands on it.

  5. Pingback: Words from my reading | Word Lily

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