Review: Abide with Me

I have been wanting to read Abide with Me after reading Olive Kitteridge (which won the Pulitzer last year), I was curious to read another book from this author. I see comparisons between the books and Elizabeth’s writing style and do plan to read Amy and Isabelle, which is her first novel.

Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer last year for Olive Kitteridge. I haven’t been about to locate a website for the author but you can click here to read her Wikipedia page for more information.

As for Abide with Me, I didn’t have a strong connection for any of the characters and kept hoping for more character development and attachment to the characters. The storyline holds the book together - this novel is about a father and his relationship within his community given current circumstances. The book has several elements to keep the story moving forward, including religion, death, birth, gossip and compassion.

This is another book getting so so reviews on

Powell’s has a lot of information (synopsis and reviews) for Abide with Me that you might find interesting

Type: Fiction, 302 pages, trade 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 ownwill 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.

“Strout’s greatly anticipated second novel… is an answered prayer.” – Vanity Fair

"Deeply moving....Dark as much of this beautiful novel is, there's finally healing here...In one beautiful page after another, Strout captures the mysterious combination of hope and sorrow." - Washington Post