Abide with Me

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.


I’m still not sure about this book, as I started it I found it difficult to read, it was written with a very “proper” or “flowery” narrative – you know, the sort of narrative you really have to concentrate with, not my best attribute when it comes to reading 😉 Once I got used to the style of writing it was a compelling tale, but with hidden depths which could be missed quite easily.  The 1950’s way of life and way of thinking came through strongly, I feel sorry for women who were trapped in that way of life, where image was everything, and a seemingly happy, perfect, home was so important – I know I would have struggled and felt trapped in that sort of environment! I’m not sure it was a book with a strong storyline as such, but did provoke strong feelings about that way of life.  I’m not sure I really can say I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but it did leave me thinking – so I would definitely say it was a good read, and well worth picking up.