Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout
A Novel

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Synopsis

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

In her luminous and long-awaited 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.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys.

Praise for Abide with Me
 
“Strout’s greatly anticipated second novel . . . is an answered prayer.”—Vanity Fair
 
“Superb . . . a shimmering tale of loss, faith, and human fallibility . . . You feel yourself in the hands of a master storyteller.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“Deeply moving . . . In one beautiful page after another, Strout captures the mysterious combinations of hope and sorrow. She sees all these wounded people with heartbreaking clarity, but she has managed to write a story that cradles them in understanding and that, somehow, seems like a foretaste of salvation.”—The Washington Post
 
“This lovely second novel confirms Strout as the possessor of an irresistibly companionable, peculiarly American voice: folksy, poetic, but always as precise as a shadow on a brilliant winter day.”—The Atlantic Monthly
 
“Graceful and moving . . . The pacing of Strout’s deeply felt fiction about the distance between parents and children gives her work an addictive quality.”—People (four stars)
 

About Elizabeth Strout

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Elizabeth Strout is the author of Abide with Me, a national bestseller and Book Sense pick, and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine. She is on the faculty of the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and lives in New York City.
 
Published March 14, 2006 by Random House. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Abide with Me

Kirkus Reviews

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When Tyler finally breaks down—he staggers from his pulpit, unable to face either the people in the pews or his own doubt and confusion—his stumble turns out to be a spiritual awakening for him and his congregation, but the redemptive ending doesn’t quite make up for the gloom and spitefulness of...

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Publishers Weekly

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In Strout's graceful if languid second novel, set in the cold northern reaches of New England during the Cold War, Tyler Caskey is a young minister tending to the faith of his small, gossipy parish.

Jun 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Abide with Me: A Novel

Book Reporter

Subtly the animosity between Tyler and Mary escalates even as feelings of attraction strengthen between Tyler and Connie.

Mar 13 2007 | Read Full Review of Abide with Me: A Novel

USA Today

In a small town in 1959 Maine, a young minister named Tyler Caskey struggles with his faith and the loyalty of his congregation after the death of his wife from cancer.

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Bookmarks Magazine

In West Annett, Maine, in the 1950s, Congregational minister Tyler Caskey’s wife dies, and, numb with grief, Tyler finds himself alone with two young daughters.

Aug 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Abide with Me: A Novel

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