Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Abide with Me- Elizabeth Strout

                            I stayed up till 1 am finishing this book.  Which may lead you to believe I'm going to give it a favorable review.  I am with one important caveat.

It's a well written, captivating story of a minister in the 50s in a small town who is dealing with the tragic death of his young wife and two children one of whom is acting out in her grief.  And the congregation who welcomed him with open arms is beginning to turn on him because he and his child are not grieving fast enough to take care of them properly.   

So if you know anything about me, you can see why this story was particularly captivating for me.  It is my own story.  There's a scene where the school principal, teacher and school psychologist have summoned the minister to the a meeting where they smugly tell him what is wrong with his daughter when they don't have a clue.  I've been in that very meeting myself.

This is my only complaint.  The happy ending is bullshit.  When a congregation turns on a pastor there is no happy ending.  I know this from the experiences of beloved colleagues and personal experience.  But I can't really complain about a fanciful happy ending.  If I wanted reality I could just look at what is going on with friends now.

1 comment:

  1. my church book club read this awhile ago. I forgot there was a happy ending ?!?

    I found the depiction of the church and the pastor etc, realistic and depressing. there were several mysteries about the wife that I couldn't get over....