Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Storyline Serendipity: Dame Julian of Norwich



Dame Julian of Norwich came up in Larry's Party by Carol Shields and Scandalous Risks by Susan Howatch, two books I was reading at the same time this month.

Julian of Norwich (1342 - 1416) was a Christian mystic and theologian, known for her book Revelations of Divine Love, which is considered to be the first book written in English by a woman.

In Larry's Party, Larry's second wife is a woman's studies professor specializing in the lives of female saints. She breezily mentions one day that she is off to St. Julian's Church in Norwich to study Dame Julian. 

Scandalous Risks is part of Howatch's Starbridge Series of novels about the Church of England in the 20th Century, set in the fictional diocese of Starbridge. Dame Julian's name is dropped during pre-dinner cocktail banter among the cloister set.


Have you had the experience of something coming up in a book -- an event, place, idea, historical character, or even an unusual word -- and then shortly after, the same thing comes up in a different book completely by coincidence? I call this Storyline Serendipity.

I don't mean like when you take a class in Russian history and read two books about the Tsar. Or when you read two mysteries and there are dead bodies in each.

I mean random coincidence between two books. I like it when this happens because it makes me slow down and pay more attention to how the event or idea, place or character was treated in each book. I get a little more out of each book than I would have if the universe hadn't paired them on my reading list.

If you experience Storyline Serendipity, feel free to grab the button and play along. If you want to, please leave the link to your post in a comment. Or leave the link to your post on the Rose City Reader facebook page. If you want to participate but don't have a blog or don't feel like posting, please share your serendipity in a comment.

This is a once-in-a-while blog event that I'll post as I come across Storyline Serendipity. If you want to participate, post whenever you want and leave a comment back here on my latest Storyline Serendipity post. If it ever catches on, we can make it a monthly event.


  1. I've run across a few of these over the years and they never cease to amaze me.

    Julian of Norwich is an excellent one! I read Larry's Party and I would have told you that I'd never heard of Dame Julian. But serendipity means you'll remember, for sure. :-)

  2. Debbie -- Thanks for sharing your serendipity post! Sorry about your trees!

  3. I'll watch for serendipity so I can play along. It's always fun when it happens in my reading, as it occasionally does.


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