A Place Called Hope

Philip Gulley. Center Street, $22 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4555-1980-4

Gulley is well known for his popular Harmony series featuring Quaker pastor Sam Gardner and the happenings in tiny Harmony, Ind. Gulley, himself an Indiana Quaker pastor, has a new publisher and embarks on a new series with the lovable Gardner. He’s in his 14th year at the Harmony Friends Meeting and still clashing with Dale Hinshaw and Fern Hampton, but new battle lines are drawn when Sam, pinch-hitting at the local Unitarian church, inadvertently performs a same-sex wedding. With his wife looking for a job and the congregation up in arms, it seems like a good time to consider an “opportunity for ministry” at Hope Friends Meeting. Gulley’s many fans will enjoy renewing acquaintance with Sam, wince at his struggles, and grin at his triumphs, and eagerly turn pages as he makes his way through a maze of decisions and inner turmoil. More conservative readers may take issue with the same-sex marriage, although he may have lost those a couple books back. A worthy and anticipated follow-up to the Harmony series. Agent: Stephen Hanselman, LevelFiveMedia. (Sept.)