The Lillies of the Field

The Lillies of the Field

William Edmund Barrett / Dec 14, 2019

The Lillies of the Field The enchanting story of two unlikely friends a black ex GI and the head of a group of German nuns The Lilies of the Field tells the story of their impossible dream to build a chapel in the desert

  • Title: The Lillies of the Field
  • Author: William Edmund Barrett
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 119
  • Format: None
  • The enchanting story of two unlikely friends, a black ex GI and the head of a group of German nuns, The Lilies of the Field tells the story of their impossible dream to build a chapel in the desert.

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      Published :2019-09-15T13:14:47+00:00

    About "William Edmund Barrett"

      • William Edmund Barrett

        Willam Edmund Barrett was born in New York City in 1900 He was Roman Catholic which is reflected strongly in his works On February 15, 1925 he was married to Christine M Rollman.He attended Manhatten college In 1941 he became an aeronautics consultant for Denver Public Library He was a member of PEN and the Authors League of America, and also the National Press Club of Washington, D.C He was president of the Colorado Authors League from 1943 1944.Three of his novels were the basis for film productions The Left Hand of God, Lilies of the Field, and Pieces of Dream which was based on The Wine and the Music.


    1. This was actually a really neat story. The main character is a black man who was brought up as a Southern Baptist, and who doesn't like to have a "boss" over him (he likes to be free to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants). He's driving along just doing whatever and stops to meet some German Catholic nuns who are working really hard outdoors building a fence, and decides to chip in by helping them repair some roof shingles. Immediately there is a language barrier because the nuns are learnin [...]

    2. The beautiful, deeply moving story of a group of German nuns struggling in earthly goods (but bountiful in Faith) in a small southwestern town and the strong, young African-American man named Homer Smith who happens upon them one day during his travels. Homer loves being a wanderer, free, not tied down to anyone or any job--he has made the back of his station wagon into a bed, takes odd jobs here and there, and travels the country enjoying life. Yet something about the nuns makes him stay. It's [...]

    3. I have one of the first editions of this book. The pages are turning brown and it won't withstand much handling but that's to be expected because it's coming up on fifty years old.The Lilies of the Field is a deceptively simple story about a group of determined German nuns who truly believe in the Gospel message, 'Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so cl [...]

    4. I picked up this little book at a library sale. It is an old paperback and the pages are brown with age. Now that I finished the book, it seems fitting that it was read by someone else before me. Lilies of the Field is a simple story of faith and providence. Homer Smith is a drifter who stumbles upon a group of German nuns working in a field. He offers himself as a day laborer and ends up staying until all their prayers are answered. I found myself reaffirmed that with the power of prayer, perso [...]

    5. Sweet, uplifting tale about an African American ex-GI who is traveling across country in his station wagon with a bed in the back enjoying his youth and freedom. He comes across a group of nuns, and a battle of wills begins--a battle between him in his desire to be free and a staunch German nun who feels that he is sent from God to build them a new chapel (and that therefore he, naturally, belongs to them for God's purposes).This short novel is surprisingly deep and says alot about faith and vir [...]

    6. I had a vague recollection of seeing the film adaptation of this book, so when I saw it sitting there on the shelf at the used book store, I just had to grab it. I am glad I did. It was sweet, heart-warming, sometimes ad and mostly amusing. Homer was a wonderful man. I really loved and respected that he stuck with it. He made a promise and he saw it through. I definitely felt teary at the end. It is an awfully short story and I am glad I took time from my longer book to read it.

    7. Short, simple (or maybe not so simple) story of faith, love, and service. The nuns were endearing (Mother Maria Marthe and Sister Albertine, the artist, especially). Homer Smith (Schmidt), of course, was a very interesting character. His motivations for building a chapel for the nuns are worthy of thought and discussion. All of the other donations of time and labor for the nuns were fascinating too. Why did people do it? Are there parallels in my life?Other parts I want to remember include phono [...]

    8. A well written & beautifully worded story. The New York Times review expresses my thoughts on the book: "A contemporary fable what joins these unlike forces in a plausible miracle is the vein of basic goodness that Mr. Barrett sees in all men." Definitely an uplifting story with characters that make you smile. Now I'm ready to watch Sidney Poitier's portrayal of Homer "Schmidt" Smith.

    9. Charming novella about the power of faith. Some poor German nuns want to build a chapel on land given to them. They have no money. This wandering African-American man comes by and builds it for them, in ways that have more to do with faith than with reason.Tender and touching. Providence is a great miracle.Mathew 6:28 " Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin"

    10. I really enjoyed this. It was very short but didn't feel rushed at all; in fact, the pacing was very nice for the type of book it is. It did a marvelous job of letting you figure out the meanings for yourself and gave the reader a nice feeling. I would recommend it to others and might even read it to my kids when they're older.

    11. Just a short, simple book about a man who stops to help some German nuns, in the American southwest (maybe in the 1950's or 60's?) and stays to build a chapel for them. They feel that God has sent him to do this. He disagrees. He says he's not here to stay, he's a Baptist, and he has no idea how to do this by himself and has no materials -- yet he does it! He just keeps feeling compelled to stay and do a little more, he enjoys getting to know the nuns and helping them learn English. He becomes a [...]

    12. What does it take to believe all over again? What does it take to get faith restored and perhaps look at life the way you never did? It is strange how in today’s time, when faith is most needed, people are renouncing theirs at the drop of a hat. I sometimes wonder how they do it so easily. So effortlessly – this giving up on something they believed in once upon a time. However, at sometimes I also believe that faith hasn’t gone anywhere. It is lying deep somewhere within them – waiting t [...]

    13. "If you learn English from me," he said apologetically, "you're sure enough going to get yourselves segregated some places." They looked at him uncomprehendingly and he let the subject drop. That was something that he could not explain even to himself.This tiny volume had been calling out to me from the shelves for weeks now, and I'm glad I heeded its call. It's interesting what a random purchase from a used bookstore will gain you. In this instance it supplied me with a beautiful, very short, s [...]

    14. This was a very sweet book. I loved the author's descriptions of the nature and the people. I also loved reading more about Homer. I really enjoyed learning about who he was as a person, which is something I couldn't understand when watching the movie. I also liked how the book dealt with racism. Racism was around during the time the book was set, and I liked how the author didn't shy away from the subject. It gave the book a realistic feeling. Overall, I would say this book was short and sweet. [...]

    15. the most unlikely pairing - a group of German nuns living in a remote southwestern part of the US who can't speak very good English -- and a recently discharged black GI. He teaches them English and they persuade him to help build their chapel. A mere slip of a book and a decades old movie with Sidney Poitier; this is a little gem waiting to be re-discovered for its simplicity and wisdom.

    16. I rarely see the movie before I read the book, but I never pass up an opportunity to see Sidney Poitier. And in this case it didn't matter. Both the book and the film are excellent. Both are full of grace and beautifully done. Wonderfully titled. I always appreciate that.

    17. This is a beautiful little narrative of faith - one of how faith coupled with partnership and hard work can essentially bring about miracles. And those miracles just may take on the shape and form of many different types - whether in building relationships, in building confidence or in actual buildings. They also can reach beyond barriers - language barriers or racial divides or even personal boundaries. This little book had a message of hope and faith and trust. It was a message that spoke to m [...]

    18. I own an old copy of this book, dated 1962.Enterprising German nuns struggle with day-to-day existence, yet are rich in faith. An African American ex-GI devoted to his freedom stops to assist them. A bond is formed and God uses them all to accomplish more than they ever dreamed of. Beautiful and uplifting.“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not a arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothe [...]

    19. A small group of German nuns is building a church in post WWII south west America. Homer Smith an African American traveling laborer happens to pass by and stops to look. The head of the nuns sees Homer as an answer to her prayers for help in the project. The story that follows is very simple and touching and will stay with you long after reading. This is a very short book, only 127 pages, but more memorable and powerful than many longer books. I’m going to search out the movie now.

    20. A very short read (my copy was 127 pages long) either based on or the inspiration for the Sidney Poitier movie of the same name. The wording is sparse but carries its meaning well. The characters a little simple, because of the sparse wording, but they flesh out better as the story goes. There are unsaid things in between the sparse words, which always appeals to me. A fine story of faith, inspiration, the man on the road, making the desert bloom as the rose, and some comments on race. People in [...]

    21. Short, sentimental, and extraordinarily well-written, Barrett's "The Lilies of the Field" is the first book I have ever written that approached the great literary bugbear of ennui in such an interesting and natural way. Enough with all these listless, privileged young men lounging around Paris or boring women stuck in loveless marriages! Here, at last, we have the ennui conquered the way any true human would conquer it, by engaging himself in finding purpose and making extraordinary what might a [...]

    22. I loved the story of Homer Smith—how he just happened to come across a group of four German nuns who badly need help, his coming an answer to prayer. Mother Maria Marthe put him right to work building a chapel for her, but he thinks she’s a bit crazy to ever expect him to be able to do it on his own.Even though this story is a bit different from the books I usually read, it was fascinating and I’m planning to review it soon.

    23. Lilies of the Field is a straightforward tale of faith and beauty that comes from hearts responding to God. It is a story about the kind of freedom that comes only when one surrenders to God. The writing is powerful, but sparse; evocative, yet simple. A quick read at only 128 pages, Lilies of the Field comes highly recommended.

    24. Although it's really only a short story, it is the perfect length. It is a bare bones treatment of a principle of faith and the faithful who make results happen. Any padding of length would have detracted from the message.

    25. A delightful, inspiring novella. Only seven chapters long, but filled with lyrical language and stark imagery reminding readers that God is in the details.

    26. What would you do if you were asked to build a church by yourself? This question is answered in the book The Lilies of the Field by William Edmund Barrett. This book is a nonfiction but it does not feel like the average one. When read it feels like a fiction because of the great writing. I really enjoyed the book because the way it is told makes it so you never want to put it down. The book takes place in a small town near the Rocky Mountains. The book follows the actions of the main character, [...]

    27. The book The Lilies of the Field by William Edmund Barrett is a about this African American helping these ladies. This is a legend but the very first story, so almost ever bit of it is true. This African-American who finds these ladies and he stops to talk to them because it looks like they need some help. He ends up working for them. They are having trouble growing food, so this man goes and gets a job in the city to buy some food for them. Then they are able to grow their food so he quit his j [...]

    28. If you've seen the award-winning 1963 movie (Sidney Poitier won the Best Actor award for his performance as Homer Smith), you know the story. A black ex-GI, savoring his freedom by traveling the nation, stops to briefly help a group of German nuns and ends up building a chapel for them. The simple plot, though, is filled with symbolism and conflicts - faith vs. reality, freedom vs. authoritarianism, acceptance vs. racism, etc. This 127-page story is well told by William Barrett and can be finish [...]

    29. "The Book Is ALWAYS Better"This was a book I picked up after I did some research and discovered that one of my favorite classic movies (The Lilies of the Field) was made due to a book of the same name. I was so pleased that in this case, there were very few changes between the two medias, and both book and movie are very enjoyable. The story is really compelling and inspires me to create. This is a classic, clean enough that I feel comfortable placing this on our kids' chapter book shelf. My onl [...]

    30. This is a touching novel. It is easy to read and very enjoyable. The characters are well described and easy to associate with even if they are of very different backgrounds than most, and make a very unlikely group of friends in the novel. I would recommend this novel to any, especially younger readers. It has a lot to teach people of all ages, and is entertaining at the same time.

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