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The Dearly Beloved: A Novel

The Dearly Beloved: A Novel

Scritto da Cara Wall

Narrato da Kathy Keane


The Dearly Beloved: A Novel

Scritto da Cara Wall

Narrato da Kathy Keane

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (212 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
10 ore
Pubblicato:
Aug 13, 2019
ISBN:
9781508297536
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

A luminous debut novel about two young couples whose lives become intertwined when the husbands are appointed co-ministers of a venerable New York City church in the 1960s, spanning decades — for fans of Ann Patchett and Nicole Krauss.

Charles and Lily, James and Nan. They meet in Greenwich Village in 1963 when Charles and James are jointly hired to steward the historic Third Presbyterian Church through turbulent times. Their personal differences however, threaten to tear them apart.

Charles is destined to succeed his father as an esteemed professor of history at Harvard, until an unorthodox lecture about faith leads him to ministry. How then, can he fall in love with Lily - fiercely intellectual, elegantly stern - after she tells him with certainty that she will never believe in God? And yet, how can he not?

James, the youngest son in a hardscrabble Chicago family, spent much of his youth angry at his alcoholic father and avoiding his anxious mother. Nan grew up in Mississippi, the devout and beloved daughter of a minister and a debutante. James' escape from his desperate circumstances leads him to Nan, and despite his skepticism of hope in all its forms, her gentle, constant faith changes the course of his life.

In The Dearly Beloved, we follow these two couples through decades of love and friendship, jealousy and understanding, forgiveness and commitment. Against the backdrop of turbulent changes facing the city and the church’s congregation, these four forge improbable paths through their evolving relationships, each struggling with uncertainty, heartbreak, and joy. A poignant meditation on faith and reason, marriage and children, and the ways we find meaning in our lives, Cara Wall’s The Dearly Beloved is a gorgeous, wise, and provocative novel that is destined to become a classic.

Pubblicato:
Aug 13, 2019
ISBN:
9781508297536
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro

Informazioni sull'autore

Cara Wall is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and Stanford University. While at Iowa, Cara taught fiction writing in the undergraduate creative writing department as well as at the Iowa Young Writer’s Studio in her capacity of founder and inaugural director. She went on to teach middle school English and History, and has been published by Glamour, Salon, and The San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in New York City with her family.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    I have never listened to a book so moving. I would recommend this book to everyone especially people in ministry
  • (5/5)
    What an amazing read! I loved the characters and the plot .
  • (4/5)
    Holy Week. When the enemies have decided to gather at the gate. Attack is on. I think I will stay home. Someone should stay battle-scar-free. To care for the wounded. ~ April 16, 2014Six years ago, I wrote that on my Facebook timeline. A few months later my husband retired after spending over 30 years of his 38-year career as a parish minister.We are different people now. I can be outspoken when I want to be, although diplomatic phrasing of my opinion has become a force of habit. Our home is a private sanctuary without yearly walk-through inspections and we can repair and upgrade without trustee approval. We are not required to attend social gatherings or bring a casserole to potluck dinners.Our roles had run our lives. And my husband bore the weight of hundreds of souls, and the bickering and power plays, the groupies and the critics.It is a life that few write about realistically. The narrative is dominated by idealized, charming stories and cult horror memoirs."A minister," she said. "It seems useful, doesn't it? It seems like a pleasant way to spend a day."~from The Dearly Beloved by Cara WallI was interested in reading The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall when I learned it concerned the relationship between two pastors and their wives.Wall's characters come from different backgrounds and experiences.There is the scholarly Charles who accidentally stumbles upon faith and holds it without question. Suffering a devastating loss, Lily angrily rejects the idea of God or 'a plan,' and the reliability of happiness rooted in others. Charles pursues Lily, in spite of her rejection.There was only circumstance and coincidence. Life was random, neutral, full of accidents...the prerequisite for love was trust; and Lily did not trust anything. ~from The Dearly Beloved by Cara WallNan is a Pastor's Kid with a naive and untested faith. James escapes his dysfunctional environment with a scholarship to university. His interest in Nan brings him to church. He struggles to believe while embracing the pastoral call as a vehicle to address societal problems."I may not believe in God, but I believe in ministry." ~James in The Dearly Beloved by Cara WallCharles and James represent the pastoral and the prophetic roles and are hired by Third Presbyterian Church in a coministry. They balance each other. When parishioners complain that James was "asking us to change views we've held all our lives," Charles replys, "That's what you hired him to do."The wives are a different story. Lily pursues a PhD and academic career and leaves the traditional, constricted role of pastor's wife to Nan. Their differences are further shown when Nan is devastated by miscarriages and Lily struggles with an unwanted pregnancy--twins.One of the twins is born with autism, leading Charles to depression while Lily crusades to find the best life for her son. James steps up with a life-changing idea.The couples become a remarkable community, learning from each other and changing each other. Their story is a microcosm of how the church should work.****There was only one call. They were, the four of them, married to each other, in a strange way.~ from The Dearly Beloved by Cara WallCasey Cep's review in the New York Times wrote, "Rather than seeming like two ministers, James and Charles sometimes read as if the pastoral teachings of Henri Nouwen and the political theology of Reinhold Niebuhr were fighting for control of one parish..."I was intrigued by the identification of the characters with the theologians Nouwen and Niebuhr, both of whom I have read. But I did not see Charles and James as 'fighting' for control as much as the parishioners splitting over their differing messages and styles. In our experience in the itinerant ministry, where pastors with differing styles follow each other, some section of the parish will reject the incoming pastor for not being the previous pastor. Humans have a preference for leaders who align with their set of personal beliefs and reject those who offer a different perspective.I have known pastors like James. We joined the Methodist Federation for Social Action in the mid-1970s. Some pastors took controversial actions. Ending the nuclear arms race was an important issue at the time and people were chaining themselves to the gates in protest. Men who became pastors during Vietnam and the Civil Rights era carried their message throughout their career, even when the church had become more conservative politically and religiously, resulting in rejection.I do not agree with Cep when she writes, "Instead of discussing soteriology or theodicy or even Jesus, they talk in the blanched terms of bad things and good people, even with one another."Sure, at seminary classes we talked about soteriology and eschatology and all the other 'ologies'. (I audited six classes over three years.) But real-life pastoral ministry is about leadership, team building, financial planning, budgeting, pastoral care, listening, crisis management, and the nuts and bolts of running a nonprofit organization run by volunteers. People want answers to real life issues not theology talks. Like why does God allow bad things to happen to good people.****I had to wonder how Wall came to understand the 'inside story' of ministry.In an article, I learned that Wall’s small town, Nazarene, parents moved to New York City where they became a part of the First Presbyterian Church, the model for the church in her novel. The church had a history: it was here that Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick's radical ideas riled dissent and led to his resignation. He moved on to Riverside Church.First Presbyterian had two ministers. “The ministers I grew up with at First Presbyterian were very dynamic and charismatic,” Wall says. “We were close to them."I purchased an ebook.
  • (4/5)
    This book has a unique look at faith and its challenges.
  • (4/5)
    A tremendously well done first novel. Two couples whose lives will become entwined for better and worse. Charles, whose faith in God is all inclusive and Lily his wife who after the loss of her parents, no longer believes. Jan, a pastors daughter, whose faith is the mainstay of her life, and her husband James, who wants to change things, so becomes a pastor for this purpose. One church, two pastors.This is not a subject I'm usually drawn to, liturgical matters and this is a subject that is front and center. It is the struggles of these four very different people that for me was the draw, characters that one finds real and honest. How they change with the very real trials and tribulations of life. Marriage, Parenthood, community needs, pastoral services, friendship and adjustments. The character I had the hardest time accepting, Lily, would prove to be the strongest and by books end one I greatly admired. Their are moments of joy, moments of sadness. The writing is mature, the subject matter including autism, ones faith, doubt and hopes are all gently explored. In fact that is the feel of this book, a gentleness in the portrayal of flawed individuals who learn through time to make the many adjustments life often asks of us.ARC from Simon and Schuster.
  • (1/5)
    The prose tries too hard and the story just isn’t enough to sustain it. Interesting topics are broached, but not explored. Every character is flat, and talks like a pedantic English major. Not at all as billed, and nothing like the similar title that led to the recommendation (The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett). I kept reading in hopes it would redeem itself, but alas, all I have is a new commitment to more research before such an undertaking.
  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    In this, her debut novel, Cara Wall uses the intertwined lives of two couples to write about how early emotional experiences lead to the decisions we make. With an emphasis on the ministry of the two male characters, the story touches on college life, marriage, career, children and belief. I found myself engrossed by sections, but overall the pace is slow and the characters mundane. A few wonderful short stories enrobed in much background detail.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (2/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Super religious! Very heavy on “finding god” and “callings.” I would NOT recommend this unless you or your book club frequently enjoy religious novels. Somewhat entertaining story of 2 very different couples that find themselves together running a church. I finished it but could not stop rolling my eyes at all of the religious references.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)
    Cara Wall’s debut novel, The Dearly Beloved, is set in the 1960s New York City. Two young ministers — Charles, the son of academics who are perplexed by his choice of career, and James, whose father came home from World War II a broken alcoholic — are hired to be pastors of the historic Third Presbyterian Church in Greenwich Village. Charles is a student of scripture and wants to tend to his parishoners’ spiritual needs. James finds that he is drawn to the social justice needs of the people living in the city. He sees poverty and neglect, and believes that the church should be addressing society’s larger problems.Charles’ wife, Lily, is not religious. Her parents died when she was a teenager, and she lost her faith because of it. She was a good wife to Charles, but she had no interest in being a traditional pastor’s wife or being involved in the church in any way. As society was going through major upheaval in the 1960s, Lily became more involved in women’s issues.James’ wife, Nan, came from a religious family. Her father was a popular minister and her mother was a traditional pastor’s wife, something that Nan did her best to emulate. Nan became very involved in the church, starting a youth choir, and sat in the front row each Sunday.Nan wanted to be friends with Lily, but Lily wanted nothing to do with Nan. The other thing Nan wanted was to have children. Lily didn’t particularly care for children. When Lily became pregnant, it caused further friction.The Dearly Beloved is a moving story about faith, family, friendship and love. Charles loved Lily and respected her choice not to be involved in the church. Nan respected her husband’s choice to be more socially relevant, but she encouraged him not to neglect his own parish.Both couples are tested by personal challenges over the years, things that could tear apart a marriage and friendship. I found myself involved in their stories, and moved by their circumstances. Wall writes these characters so beautifully, you may not understand their choices, but you will care deeply what happens to them.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent book. Liked the people and the issues
  • (5/5)
    One of the best books I’ve ever read. Raw.
  • (1/5)

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    Yuck! This is a Hallmark movie. Not realistic at ALL.

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • (5/5)
    Sooooooo good! I didn’t want it to end!! Perfectly written
  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.James and Charles are co-ministers at a Presbyterian Church for 30 years, although this is really the story of how they meet their respective wives and the first few years of their ministry. Then it jumps to Charles' death (this is also the prologue) with nothing about the intervening years. I disliked Lily, Charles' wife (I think we were meant to) so much that it ruined the novel for me, although I also struggled to understand exactly what Charles and James thought they were bringing to ministry. There was no real focus on the parishioners, who just featured to make the men's lives difficult or to misunderstand their wives. There was no sense of warmth or joy or humour in this story and I skimmed the second half.It started promisingly, and I was disappointed. I wanted Lily and Charles to enhance each other's lives and they didn't. I wanted Nan to grow more as a character than she did, and I wanted everyone to take themselves less seriously.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed this book immensely! Very poignant! 5 stars!
  • (5/5)
    This book was amazing. Filled with truth yet also real feelings and thoughtful reflections about the world. I haven't finished many books lately, but I couldn't stop listening to this book!