Abide with Me

Front Cover
Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007 - Fiction - 302 pages
783 Reviews
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.

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.

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)
  

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User ratings

5 stars
171
4 stars
304
3 stars
179
2 stars
79
1 star
50

Stark and beautiful prose. - Goodreads
The portrayal of grief combined with guilt rang true. - Goodreads
Very satisfying ending. - Goodreads
The slow pace draws you in. - Goodreads
This is a fantastic, sensitive writer! - Goodreads
Lovely descriptions and imagery. - Goodreads

Review: Abide with Me

User Review  - Suzan Campbell - Goodreads

I love Elizabeth Stout. She is an amazing writer. This was my least favorite of her books but still really worthwhile reading. Read full review

Review: Abide with Me

User Review  - Lonni - Goodreads

I had to come back and change my review from three stars to four. While Strout's books never have that addictive quality and they trudge along without any significant plot twists, by the time I am in ... Read full review

All 17 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
31
Section 3
55
Section 4
88
Section 5
121
Section 6
151
Section 7
185
Section 8
191
Section 10
239
Section 11
258
Section 12
279
Section 13
296
Section 14
301
Section 15
303
Section 16
304
Copyright

Section 9
219

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2007)

Elizabeth Strout is the author of the New York Times bestseller Olive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestseller Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine and New York City.


From the Hardcover edition.

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