Compiled and Introduced by Patricia A. Lynch

Illuminated by the message

For Patricia Lynch, “opening one of Elizabeth Gaskell’s works is like ‘reading’ an icon or, in her case, a Pre-Raphaelite painting. We step into her world: the lush beauty of the Cheshire countryside and the cramped, dark wretchedness of factory towns.“ Fans of Gaskell’s published and dramatized works will discover ways in which The Message can reveal the depth of faith and challenge our own in Cranford, North and South, Wives and Daughters, and other favorite novels and short stories.

Testimonials from readers

This wee wonderful book has a favored place beside my bed now. The snippets taken from Gaskell’s beloved novels are paired exquisitely with a modern rendition of biblical verses for reading, meditation and prayer. How carefully both were chosen, revealing the comfort that we find in Gaskell alongside the reassurance of sacred scripture we know so well. Morning, sometimes noon, and nighttime they gave me pause for solace as I read this jewel for the first time. And now, I read and reread them again, still not wanting to put it down.
— Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth
“I think it’s a truly beautiful book in every way, and I’ve found it hard to put down. There’s always something on the next page that draws me to read ‘just one more’ selection! And what a wonderful introduction to Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing—makes me want to read more. Reading the Bible verses from The Message never failed to surprise me as I found long familiar verses sounding new. Amazing.”
“I wanted to share with you that the kids and I read the first devotion in your book the night before school started, and then revisited it the next morning. We talked about what it means to ‘be the hand of God.’ It was such a wonderful conversation. Thank you for the book, and for the conversation starter.”

Patricia A. Lynch is a freelance editor, graphic designer, and author of Milwaukee’s Soldiers Home. She has worked in church ministry and religious publishing since graduating from Marquette University in 1975, including twenty-five years with ACTA Publications and the Ecumenical Spirituality Group of southeastern Wisconsin. Patricia is a member of the Saturday Morning Club, an informal gathering inspired by the social movements of 19th-century Boston, and director of West Side Victorian Dancers. She and her husband, Patrick, live in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.