Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of…

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming. (original 1992; edition 1994)

by Henri J. M. Nouwen (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,046333,749 (4.23)22
A beautiful book, as beautiful in the simple clarity of its wisdom as in the terrible beauty of the transformation to which it calls us. -- New Oxford Review
Title:The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming.
Authors:Henri J. M. Nouwen (Author)
Info:Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd (1994), 160 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri J. M. Nouwen (Author) (1992)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
A lovely meditation on the famous Rembrandt painting of the parable of the prodigal son. Nouwen takes the reader along his spiritual journey from discovering the painting to entering into it to examine its lessons. The author spends time delving into the Gospel story, the characters, and the life of Rembrandt reflected in the masterpiece. It is best read a small portion at a time to let the insights sink in. ( )
  MMKY | Jul 3, 2020 |
A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on an unforgettable spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell.
  StFrancisofAssisi | Mar 26, 2020 |
Probably THE BEST SPIRITUAL BOOK I have ever read. Had to read it numerous times, because there was always something new I had missed in previous readings. I love the premise -- the detailed analysis of Rembrandt's "Return of the Prodigal Son," which shares deeply moving insights into the Nature of God, writ large. In so doing, the book also shows us ourselves -- in ways that are part reassurance and part wake-up call.

I carry in my heart a mental snapshot of Rembrandt's rendering of the father (God's) hands -- one gnarled from manual labor, large, and masculine -- the other with its long, delicate fingers, much more feminine. A life-changing book.

Audience: People of faith -- and lovers of Rembrandt! -- who seek to broaden their concept of God and open the apertures of their personal theologies onto the expansiveness of God. This book is so accessible (readers of all ages, teen and on) but is at the same time so beautifully faceted and nuanced that it's one of those books that can be read numerous times and always reveal a new insight or discovery. ( )
  rlf06153 | Mar 20, 2020 |
I'm surprised to say I really liked this book. I have always disliked this parable, simply because I always believed that the elder brother was right to feel the way he did, and that the father's actions were a betrayal to the elder son's devotion to his father all those years. However, for the first time, after reading through this book, I am able to see how, perhaps, the full intent behind this story in the first place, was for us to be able to see ourselves in each character, and view it as a metaphor for the life journey that we all must make. As much as we might not want to admit it, we all have had moments where we have acted more like the wayward son, straying from our parents' expectations and desires, to act on our own whims. Likewise, as mentioned above, we have also most likely experienced feeling bitterness & resentment toward those who seemed to get good things handed to them although we feel them to be undeserving. We go back & forth between each of these extremes throughout our lives, but eventually we must move toward viewing ourselves as the father in the story. As the father tried to explain to the elder son in the story, his love for both his sons is the same. Just because he is celebrating one son's return does not diminish his love for the other. The elder son has always had access to all his father had to give, and never had to learn of the suffering that goes along with losing everything due to one's own stupidity. The younger son had to learn that lesson the hard way. We start out on our journey having to learn from both our successes and failures, and eventually, we should be able to see and understand the full scope of a parent's love for all his children as we move into that role toward the end of our journey. ( )
  merrittfamily1990 | May 1, 2018 |
Open leadership father and two different kinds of responses of the sons. You'll see the Rembrandt painting never the same again after reading the book.
  open-leadership | Jan 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nouwen, Henri J. M.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Poll, Evert van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the Chinese, traditional Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To my father Laurent Jean Marie Nouwen for his ninetieth birthday
First words
There was a man who had two sons.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

A beautiful book, as beautiful in the simple clarity of its wisdom as in the terrible beauty of the transformation to which it calls us. -- New Oxford Review

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (4.23)
1 3
2 9
2.5 1
3 37
3.5 6
4 60
4.5 17
5 119

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 177,027,578 books! | Top bar: Always visible