The Tanglewood’s Secret

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The Tanglewood’s Secret

Author: Patricia St. John

Pages: 167

Publisher: Moody Publishers

Written In: 1948

Summary (written by Marie):

Young Ruth and her brother Phillip live with their Aunt and Uncle in England while their parents are missionaries in India. Phillip has a sweet and caring heart but Ruth hates obeying her aunt and is always in trouble. She comes to the realization she’s never happy but can’t explain why.

One day she meets a local pastor who explains the story of the Good Shepherd – and her life is never the same again. She wants to keep this newfound secret for herself but soon realizes it’s something that needs to be shared.  After tragedy strikes a playmate, she also realizes how deep the Good Shepherd’s love really is.

Marie’s Review (Mom):

The Tanglewood’s Secret is in My Father’s World Deluxe package of Creation to the Greeks. I had never heard of Patricia St. John, but after reading this book, I can’t wait to read more of hers!

What a sweet, sweet book. It started a little slow. Not boring, just slow, if that makes any sense. That’s my only complaint. About half way through, Ruth is introduced to the Good Shepherd.  It’s so pure, simple and, well… sweet!

I admit too, I cried at the end. Once again I used the excuse of diaper changing to take a break and compose myself. Normally I hate books that make me cry. Life is real enough and I like happy go lucky books to escape into.  But this book wasn’t so much sad as it was tender and precious. It truly shows the love of Jesus and that God’s plans are not always our own. There are many little threads woven together by the end, but they are so simple and fit together so well that they aren’t confusing.

What an excellent first witness and introduction to Jesus this book makes! Although I want to keep our copy for Little May to read when she’s older, I may pass it on long before then. It’s that good.

Grace’s Review (5th Grade):

It was totally exciting. I think this book would be perfect for people who have heard about Jesus, but, didn’t really know a lot about him. This is a perfect book for introducing Christianity to someone new, and who heard. I love it. I kept on asking Mama to read more. I did cry a little bit at the end.

Lainey’s Review (4th Grade):

I liked it. The ending was sad! It made my mom cry. I almost did. I would read it again though. My favorite part was when the boy got hurt, and when he learned about God.

Christian Friendly: Yes!

Sensitive Readers:  SPOILER ALERT!!!!


Ruth and Phillip’s 11 year old play mate is full of life, strength and zeal. A fall from a tree cripples him and he’s bedridden and full of pain as he slowly dies.  There is a beautiful sentence that beautifully explains what happened when the boy died. I was going to share it but I feel that would spoil the moment in the book. His death is not drawn out, nor is it gruesome.  The funeral is only mentioned as a past event in the next chapter.  This chapter also has a real shepherd explain death to Ruth so she can see it’s not the end but the beginning.


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