In the 1950s, in the small town of West Annett, Maine, a minister struggles to regain his calling, his family, and his happiness in the wake of profound loss. At the same time, the community he has served so charismatically must conjure with its own strengths and failings-faith and hypocrisy, loyalty and abandonment - when a shocking secret is ...
In the 1950s, in the small town of West Annett, Maine, a minister struggles to regain his calling, his family, and his happiness in the wake of profound loss. At the same time, the community he has served so charismatically must conjure with its own strengths and failings-faith and hypocrisy, loyalty and abandonment - when a shocking secret is revealed. Tyler Caskey was not born in West Annett, but he has grown to love it; the short, brilliant summers and the sharp, piercing winters fill him with awe-as does his congregation, full of good people, people who seek his guidance and earnestly lean forward to listen as he preaches. But after suffering a terrible loss, Tyler finds it difficult returning to himself as he once was. He hasn't had The Feeling-that God is all around him, in the beauty of the land-for quite some time. He struggles to find the right words in his sermons and in his conversations with those facing crises of their own, And to bring his five-year-old daughter, Katherine, out of the silence she has observed in the wake the family's tragedy. A congregation that had once been kind and understanding during Tyler's grief now questions his leadership and propriety. In the kitchens, classrooms, offices, and stores of this village, anger and gossip have started to swirl. And in Tyler's darkest hour, a startling discovery will test his congregation's humanity-and his own will to endure the kinds of trials that sooner or later test us all.
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Ths is my least favorite book of Strout's three books. I did enjoy the book, but liked Amy & Isabelle and especially, Ollie Kitteridge much better. I always like the places Strout takes me to and most often I find one character in the book I feel I know. Not this one. So before you read this book of Strouts be sure you read the other two first.
May 17, 2007
excellent contemporary fiction
Abide With Me is one of the bext contemporary novels I've read in a long time. Unlike so many current authors who start with a fascinating plot line/twist but annot deliver a satisfying conclusion, Strout is low-key, but thoroughly engaging all the way through. She creates a convincing character who is, nonetheless, a genuinely kind, thoughtful good person. It's refreshing to see that goodness can be as interesting as perversion.
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