My mother gave this book to me many years ago with the inscription " I have read this book many times, I hope it brings you the same comfort it brings me." It was the last book I read to her as she lay dying of cancer. I know that her soul like Dame Emilys flew free, back to the Creator from whence it came. This book is like the loving hug of my mama. I remember the first time I read it, wondering what was Dame Philippas' secret and the tears I cried when I found out. Over the years these characters and the Abbey itself have become a place I need to go to regularly to feel that comfort of soul. What a gifted writer Ms.Godden was! Now I scour booksales and fleamarkets looking for more Rumer Godden. I have given away two copies of Brede to dear friends,it is a reading experience meant to be shared and savoured over and over.