Zenna Henderson is one of the authors every sf fan needs to read. The book arrived in very good condition and it contains two stories I had not read before as they are not included in the two collections out in paperback
Having heard my mother rave about 'Pilgrimage' over the years - and regret losing her copy when it was out-of-print for so long - it is great to find a collection of all of Zenna Henderson's People stories. I have read them so many times, but each time I find something new and wonderful. Let these stories transport you to a kinder world - you will be captivated!
I started to hear the people stories on Radio 4 a few years ago when I was unemployed and depressed, but only heard half of the first episode. I then spent 2 years trying to find a copy of 'Pilgrimage' to find out more. I was definately intrigued by these people and there abilities! When I eventually managed to get a copy of the stories I was not disappointed. I have continued to find them comforting with an old fashioned feel I quite like. I suppose they are SF/Fantasy but I can never think of them as such.
I am glad to find in "Ingathering" a collection of 'The People Stories'. As a young man I read them and felt that they were a charge to go into the world and teach, accepting people for what they were and for what they COULD be. My only regret in reading the book is to know that there will be no more stories to warm my heart and inspire my connection to the community in which I find myself. If Zenna Henderson has no remaining blood family, she has a larger family in those whom she inspired and encouraged. "The People" are an example of what can be the best in all of us.
I lent my Z.Henderson books to my local minister to "stir" his complacency. They were never returned. I managed to recollect them by assiduously hunting through secon-hand book stores. I THRILLED to be able to get the People stories, from Amazon. Each time I read them I cry at the wonderful beauty of the sensitivity of the people. I am an avid SF fan but this books transcends all those. I would like to classify as essential reading. Oh for some more. Thanks must go to the compilers.
I first found Zenna Henderson's work 30 years ago, I was so thrilled to find how much she had written and how wonderfully her work has stood the test of time. Sometimes rereading a favourite story is a letdown, not this time, I have never been so thrilled by a book, I had to keep making myself slow down because I didn't want it to finish. If you don't read another book this year, you must read this! This is a one-off, totally unique. Enjoy!
Long ago, my first introduction to Science Fiction was Zenna Henderson's series about the People. Living through times in America's history when people were being persecuted because they were visibly different (the civil rights period) or because they thought and acted differently (the age of the flower children and activism against social inequities), I found reading about a people who were different and persecuted but retained their inate goodness, kindness, and sense of self worth to be not only uplifing but a call to battle. I determined to go out and embrace the uniqueness of all the people on this planet. In my travels around the world, I tried to personify the teachings of Ms. Henderson and learned that I CAN lift myself and others (spirtually, if not physically), platt sunshine to warm the minds and souls of those around me (at least emotionally), read the thoughts and emotions of others (using my intuition and empathy), and be a healer (by just listening to and caring about those I met). The gift I received from reading Ms. Henderson's books was far greater than the enjoyment of meeting her people -- her gift enabled me to become one of The People.
Be warned that in reading Zenna Henderson's fantasy stories about "The People", they are so naturalistic and convincing that you may find yourself believing you have the gifts: that you can levitate, send telepathic messages, heal with psychic force. When you realize that it's just a dream inspired by the stories, you may wander around in a half-daze, wishing your life were like those stories: that you really did have the gifts, that you endured hardships in the same stoic way, and that you would find safe haven and welcoming arms somewhere in the American Southwest. I know because for weeks after reading one of her collections, I kept thinking that I could levitate -- and I was an adult at the time!
Again stories from the past, but this time ones that hold up very well, still enjoyable; Zenna Henderson weaves her stories around a group of survivors from a distant planet that fall to earth, but although look like human they have paranormal powers, as they fist arrive in the late 1800s into the American Midwest some are killed by the ignorant westerners, thinking them to be witches, other survive by staying together in small groups, one story, In this book covers one such group and new teacher imported into their group for their school, the interactions of a group with paranormal powers and an outsider who they believe does not, the difficulties of trying to fit in, and yet be different is dealt with in a very moving way, the ending is not what you expect, and still after all this time does effect me. I would recommend this book, no death rays, but a good insight into peoples and their interaction with a total alien culture. I believe that the Disney film escape to witch mountain was very, very loosely based on these stories,