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Abide with Me: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout
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Abide with Me: A Novel (edition 2007)

by Elizabeth Strout

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Member:rillaJP
Title:Abide with Me: A Novel
Authors:Elizabeth Strout
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2007), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
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Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout

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During the late 1950s, in the small New England town of West Annett, Maine, Reverend Tyler Caskey is a man struggling through a crisis of faith. Having recently suffered a terrible loss, Tyler finds it incredibly difficult to be the person he once was. He has always considered himself to be a man of strong faith, and a highly-respected minister to his congregation. Now, in the face of Tyler's crushing grief, he finds himself doubting everything about his life that he once took for granted.

In the opinion of his disapproving, hypercritical mother, Tyler's two daughters - two-year-old Jeanne and five-year-old Katherine - aren't being taken care of properly. He struggles to find the proper words in his sermons, and in his conversations with those facing crises of their own. He finds the personal counseling sessions with his parishioners to be fairly meaningless actually; especially when they don't seem to want to follow his advice.

He hasn't even been successful in finding the right words to help bring his daughter, Katherine, out of the vow of silence she has observed in the wake of the family's tragedy. Tyler's usually kind and patient congregation has now begun to quietly question his leadership and propriety, and soon, inexcusable accusations are born out of anger and gossip. Then, in Tyler's darkest hour of need, a startling new discovery will test his parishioners' humanity - and his own will to endure the trials that sooner or later test us all.

I must say that while this book was slightly difficult to get into; I still found the story riveting and poignant. As I said, I had a bit of trouble getting into the flow of the story, but it was only a temporary feeling. This was the type of book that I began to read compulsively, after the first few pages, because I avidly wanted to know what was going to happen next. Overall, I give this book a definite A+! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Dec 25, 2015 |
The more books I read by Elizabeth Strout, the bigger fan I become. This story is about a young pastor, Reverend Caskey, whose wife dies of cancer, leaving him alone with 2 young girls. In the year following his wife's death, he tries to deal with his grief as well as continue as pastor for a small town in Maine. What I enjoyed most about this book is the characters in this small town - outwardly, upright New Englanders, but behind the facade, there is a whole novel's worth of problems, some petty, and some pretty big.

I really liked this story, but not as much as the other Strout novel's I've read. ( )
  jmoncton | May 11, 2014 |
it took awhile to get into this story, but i'm glad i stuck with it. The characters were so real & the story was subtle but heavy. thoroughly enjoyed the end. ( )
  lloyd1175 | Mar 22, 2014 |
This is a quiet, thoughtful novel about love and grief. It was beautiful and I am glad I read it. It was my second book by Elizabeth Strout, and I definitely intend to read more. ( )
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Some parts of this book were really good. I enjoyed the reflection of the human happenings in the description of the bleak Maine weather and the vivid picture of the depressing house with its pink rooms. But I couldn't enjoy the book because of my own shortcoming - I want to like the characters if I'm going to spend time with them. And there just wasn't anyone here I could like. Tyler just infuriated me with his neglect of his daughter. His wife was selfish and childish. The parishioners of his church were uniformly off-putting. I guess the book was well written but it was depressing and, like its setting, bleak. ( )
  TerriBooks | Dec 27, 2013 |
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To the memory of my father,

R. G. Strout
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Oh, it would be years ago now, but at one time a minister lived with his small daughter in a town up north near the Sabbanock River, up where the river is narrow and the winters used to be especially long. The minister's name was Tyler Caskey, and for quite some while his story was told in towns up and down the river, and as far over as the coast, until it emerged with enough variations so as to lose its original punch, and just the passing of time, of course, will affect the vigor of these things.
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Book description
Tyler Caskey wa not born in West Annett, Maine, 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 who seek his guidance. But after suffering a terrible loss, Tyler finds it difficult to return as he once was. He struggles to fine the right words for hi sermons and 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 of the family's tragedy.

A congregation that had once been kind during Tyler's grief now questions his leadership. In the kitchens, classrooms, offices and stores of the 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 endure to the kinds of trials that sooner or later will test us all.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812971825, Paperback)

In her luminous and long-awaited new novel, bestselling author Elizabeth Strout welcomes readers back to the archetypal, lovely landscape of northern New England, where the events of her first novel, Amy and Isabelle, unfolded. In the late 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 come to terms with its own strengths and failings–faith and hypocrisy, loyalty and abandonment–when a dark secret is revealed.

Tyler Caskey has come to love West Annett, “just up the road” from where he was born. The short, brilliant summers and the sharp, piercing winters fill him with awe–as does his congregation, full of good people who seek his guidance and listen earnestly as he preaches. But after suffering a terrible loss, Tyler finds it hard to return to himself as he once was. He hasn’t had The Feeling–that God is all around him, in the beauty of the world–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 of the family’s tragedy.

A congregation that had once been patient and kind during Tyler’s grief now questions his leadership and propriety. In the kitchens, classrooms, offices, and stores of the 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.

In prose incandescent and artful, Elizabeth Strout draws readers into the details of ordinary life in a way that makes it extraordinary. All is considered–life, love, God, and community–within these pages, and all is made new by this writer’s boundless compassion and graceful prose.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the late 1950s, in a small New England town, Reverend Tyler Caskey has suffered a terrible loss and finds it hard to be the person he once was. He struggles to find the right words in his sermons and in his conventions with those facing crises of their own, and to bring his duaghter out of the silence she has observed in the wake of the family's tragedy.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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