Amy and Isabel , follows a recent widower from grief through breakdown to recovery in 1959 smalltown Maine. T"/>
 

Abide with Me

Elizabeth Strout, Author
Elizabeth Strout, Author . Random $24.95 (294p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6207-2
Reviewed on: 10/17/2005
Release date: 03/01/2006
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 231 pages - 978-1-58836-511-8
Hardcover - 434 pages - 978-0-7393-2591-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-2468-4
Paperback - 302 pages - 978-0-8129-7182-8
Hardcover - 294 pages - 978-0-7432-3930-1
Hardcover - 978-0-7432-3931-8
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4711-2866-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-07628-0
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-0-7434-6228-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4159-2708-3
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Strout's satisfying follow-up to her 1999 debut, Amy and Isabel , follows a recent widower from grief through breakdown to recovery in 1959 smalltown Maine. The father of two young girls and the newly appointed minister of the fictional town of West Annett, Tyler Caskey is quietly devastated by wife Lauren's death following a prolonged illness. Tyler's older daughter Katherine is deeply antisocial at school and at home; his adorable younger daughter Jeannie has been sent to live upstate with Tyler's overbearing mother. Talk begins to spread of Katherine's increasing unsoundness and of Tyler's possible affair with his devoted-though-suspicious housekeeper, Connie Hatch. It's spearheaded by the gossipy Ladies' Aide Society, whose members bear down on Tyler like the dark clouds of a gathering storm. Meanwhile, Tyler's grief shades into an angry, cynical depression, leaving him unable to parent his troubled daughter or minister to his congregation, and putting his job and family at risk. Strout's deadpan, melancholy prose powerfully conveys Tyler's sense of internal confinement. The uplifting ending arrives too easily, but on the whole, Strout has crafted a harrowing meditation of exile on Main Street. (Mar.)

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