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Home to Harmony by Philip Gulley

Home to Harmony (2002)

by Philip Gulley

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The author, like his narrator, is a Quaker minister in a small midwestern town. The writing is lovely. Each chapter has a moral, but it is very gently delivered. Lots of humor and situations that are universal. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 26, 2016 |
This is a series a friend suggested I read and I am glad I did!
I must say it's refreshing to read comedy that is intelligent. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it IS possible to be funny without the use of profanity.
Mr. Gulley brings his characters to life in bold colors and the town has something that should appeal to everyone.
And...as much trouble as his congregation gives him, I find myself wishing I could move to Harmony.
The world needs more communities like this! ( )
  JCMorrows | Aug 25, 2015 |
meh... ( )
  disneypope | Dec 29, 2010 |
Wholesome, heartwarming with a sense of humor you wouldn't expect from a Quaker minister. It was just what I needed after the last book. It's a simple quick read. Gulley's writing style is very easy to like, as is his personality which shines through it. ( )
  stephaniesmithrn | May 31, 2009 |
"Church would be a wonderful thing, if it weren't for all the people." This is a common quip among pastors and church members alike sometimes, when the quest for spiritual growth runs up against the bureaucracy of the church and the stubbornness of some church members.

Sam Gardner, the Quaker pastor in Philip Gulley's charming and very funny Home to Harmony (the first of Gulley's "Harmony Novels"), would certainly agree. By an unlucky coincidence, Sam finds himself called to pastor the church in which he grew up, located in small town Harmony, Indiana. In his first year, he adjusts to life in his hometown, dealing with an assortment of odd, yet endearing, church folk.

This book at once celebrates many components of American small town life: the local diner, the local newspaper, the church, the special annual events. It gently presents the challenge any newcomers face when they try to move into a small town. It shows the power of small town gossip and the pervasive watchfulness, and subsequent discussion, that follows almost every action in a small town.

But Home to Harmony is squarely focused on the eccentricities of the local Quaker congregation. Go to any church long enough, and you will recognize the denizens of the Harmony Friends Meeting. The unspoken seating chart in the sanctuary. The ill-advised but earnest plans of a couple of the elders. The frustrations of church meetings. The underlying power of the women in determining what's really important on the church calendar.

Gulley is a pastor (as am I) and he knows these people and these situations. It is clear that they have frustrated him over his career. But it is also clear that he loves them: he loves them for their earnest, if misdirected passion, loves them for their subconscious assumptions, loves them for their quiet moments of honor and love.

The book is filled with gentle humor, and is a pleasure to read. In fact, it is such an easy and enjoyable read that Gulley's skill is not immediately apparent. In the midst of these almost self-contained chapters, each of which ends with a delicate moral (sometimes posed more as a question than as an assertion), Gulley gives life to the fictitious town of Harmony and many of its citizens. ( )
3 vote ALincolnNut | Mar 12, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060858370, Mass Market Paperback)

Welcome to Harmony ...

In this acclaimed inaugural volume in the Harmony series, master American storyteller Philip Gulley draws us into the charming world of minister Sam Gardner in his first year back in his hometown, capturing the essence of small-town life with humor and wisdom.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:58 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Sam Gardner, pastor of Harmony Friends Meeting, recounts the moving and humorous adventures of his first year leading the hometown Indiana church.

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