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Abide with Me

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  6,296 Ratings  ·  899 Reviews
After the tragic death of his young wife, Reverend Tyler Caskey, a New England minister, struggles to hold together his own life, his family, and his town, while dealing with his personal anger, grief, and loss of faith.
Paperback, 302 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by Random House Trade (first published March 14th 2006)
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Alicia Selective Mutism is associated with social anxiety disorder and it is rare reaction seen in children and adults who have suffered a trauma or a…moreSelective Mutism is associated with social anxiety disorder and it is rare reaction seen in children and adults who have suffered a trauma or a reaction to grief. Especially when something unexpected happens children may become fearful, anxious and depressed, without having the words to describe their emotions they withdrawing into themselves. Sometimes this disorder can go on throughout the patient's life but its possible to treat through behavioral therapies.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Michael
Apr 22, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing
An outstanding and moving portrait of the quiet courage of a minster and his community in rural Maine in the 50’s. This is a time when the Cold War, crass commercialism, and the insights of Freud about hidden sexual motivations were undermining spirituality in the American populace. The Congregational minister, Tyler Caskey, is having trouble inspiring his flock or taking their problems seriously as he is still recovering from the death of his wife one year before. His four-year old daughter Cat ...more
Nancy
Nov 04, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book. Strout has a real gift for gentle prose that reveals the characters' thoughts. Utterly believable--when the church women criticize the minister's wife for her slingback shoes and not drying all the dishes, I felt as if I knew these women, their values and their habits. The teacher who turns against her student and the school psychologist who relies on textbook definitions and cannot find compassion for the little girl who just lost her mother are very real, too--but nobody is ...more
Ron Charles
Every novel is about a crisis of faith -- in one's self, one's partner, one's prospects -- but novels about religious leaders often portray crisis in explicitly spiritual terms, and that can be hell. Too often, churchy language forces the rich ambiguity of good fiction to get "left behind." Lately, though, a few novels full of Christian faith have managed to transcend sectarian piety and speak to a large, diverse audience. Each year welcomes another splendid novel into the fold: Gail Godwin's "E ...more
orsodimondo
Jul 03, 2013 orsodimondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
LA COSTRUZIONE DI UN ATTIMO
Ho fatto un sogno stanotte: ero andato a trovare Elizabeth e lei mi preparava un caffè, profumato robusto dolce, pura libidine, e intanto mi spiegava che il caffè americano si fa in tanti modi, che quello che conta è la tostatura, e la mano di chi lo prepara - si va dalla risciacquatura di piatti sporchi a quello che lei mi ha offerto (e che io consumo tutte le mattine), pura delizia.
Si è messa a ridere perché ha spiegato che la stessa cosa succede con la scrittura: l
...more
Bonnie
Sep 22, 2007 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who injoys good writing
This book was not what I expected. It was not about religion but about human nature and how we overcome some of our basic and more ugly tendencies. The pastor in this book was so excellently portrayed in his strengths and his venerability’s that I felt I could reach out and touch him.

The author did not tell you the mans wife was shallow, self-absorbed and immature but by showed her behavior in telling situations. The way her husband loved her was heart rending and I was glad the author gave her
...more
Catherine Henry
Jul 24, 2012 Catherine Henry rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. It is a testimony to the enduring power of love. I want to write a review that I believe is worthy of the story and I can't seem to find the words. So, I am just going to encourage you to read it and hope that you enjoy as much as I.
Erika
Jan 11, 2015 Erika rated it really liked it
On the surface, this should not be an especially interesting book. The topic--a small town pastor's relationship with his congregation in 1950s rural Maine--isn't exactly action-packed. In addition, the pace is fairly slow, most of the important moments take place internally, and very little actually happens.

Yet, I found it completely compelling.

Strout is a master at using details and small metaphors to show us someone's state of mind. And the writing itself is so gorgeous that this novel is r
...more
Cheryl
Aug 17, 2011 Cheryl rated it liked it
Sometimes you come across a line and it shines, like a pearl. But my, the first 2/3 of the book swam in a miasma of stunned grief. It was hard to keep one's head up and progress was painfully slow. I suppose that's fitting for a book that is about the slow healing of a pastor widowed by the death of his young wife, leaving him with his young family, and unable to cope.
Maybe it wasn't the book, maybe it was me just not giving it a proper chance and concentrating on it. Redemption arrived and the
...more
Virginia
Dove c'è un essere umano, esiste sempre una speranza d'amore.
Leah
Jul 20, 2009 Leah rated it really liked it
In the note that follows this novel, Strout writes, "As a storyteller, I don't think it's my job to pass judgment on the people whose lives I imagine and record." Perhaps that's what I like best about Strout--her descriptions make you vow to retire the phrase "ordinary people" from your vocabulary, since each character's inner life a becomes a revelation. Also, her descriptions make you view your surroundings differently. She--and, often, her characters-love the New England landscape; it is a ch ...more
Ann Woodbury Moore
Apr 04, 2013 Ann Woodbury Moore rated it really liked it
Thank you, Jan, for this recommendation. I read Elizabeth Strout's "Olive Kitteridge" several years ago and enjoyed it, but hadn't gone back to her earlier novels. "Abide With Me" is set in a small Maine town in 1959 and features a young, idealistic, recently widowed minister ("mimster," his toddler Jeannie calls him). Tyler Caskey is struggling to cope--with the death of his wife; with his domineering mother, who's taken Jeannie into her home; with his suddenly silent older daughter, Katherine, ...more
Yuliya Yurchuk
Aug 16, 2016 Yuliya Yurchuk rated it really liked it
Страут вміє писати саме так, як мені подобається, це я можу точно сказати! Та я можу зрозуміти тих, хто просто фізично не може її читати, бо занадто вже бере за живе, бо все саме так як в житті, може, не у вашому, але точно у когось, кого ви знаєте, це боляче, бо впізнаються такі трагічні речі, про які краще не думати. В цій книжці розповідається історія ще молодого священника, у якого помирає дружина і він залишається з двома маленькими доньками, одна з яких від травми переслата говорити. Тут т ...more
Bruno
The nuns taught us there are two ways through life… the way of Nature… and the way of Grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow. - The Tree of Life

Forse leggere due romanzi della Strout nel giro di una settimana non è stata proprio una buona idea, ma immagino rispecchi il mio lato masochista.

Ancora una volta ci troviamo nel Maine, ma questa volta a West Annett, un po' più a nord di Shirley Falls. Siamo a cavallo tra il '59 e il '60 e il timore di un possibile pericolo atomico si è profo
...more
Virginia
Aug 11, 2009 Virginia rated it did not like it
I really thought this book would be very different...it definitely needs a different title! The story had a lot of potential, but fell flat. None of the characters really changed at all, except possibly the daughter who finally begins speaking after her mother dies, but even the tension on this is built upon through the whole book and she just sort of starts talking without any reason behind it.

A lot of really serious issues are brought up, but just sort of glossed over and almost put aside with
...more
Christine Bonheure
3,5 sterren geef ik dit typische verhaal over inwoners van een dorp die niet veel meemaken, en dan maar aan het roddelen slaan zodra ze daartoe de kans krijgen. In het begin vond ik het verhaal wat soapachtig, maar geleidelijk aan trok het me mee. Zo blijkt de vroeg gestorven engelachtige maar verwende domineesvrouw over nogal wat angels te beschikken. Ook het verhaal van dochter Katherine intrigeert. Na de dood van haar mama praat ze niet meer, maar doet iedereen de duivel aan met haar gedrag. ...more
Cheri
Aug 24, 2009 Cheri rated it really liked it

Elizabeth Strout's "Abide with Me" is once again set in a small, lonely area of northern New England. In the late 1950s, in a small town in Maine, not too far from Shirley Falls, where “Amy and Isabelle” was situated, is where Tyler Caskey and his wife have come to serve. His joy in his new calling as a minister to this town is only exceeded by his joy in his recent marriage to his lovely bride.

While Tyler loves their life in West Annett, the beauty of the winters and the summers only serve to
...more
Shelah
Oct 01, 2009 Shelah rated it liked it
I loved Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge, which I read earlier this year, and was eager to get my hands on Elizabeth Strout's other books. Abide with Me takes place in the same small town in Maine where Amy and Isabelle (another Strout novel) is set, and centers on Tyler Caskey, a young minister whose family has been upended by the death of his wife. His baby daughter now lives with his domineering mother, his other daughter is at home with him, but has problems he feels unequipped to handle. ...more
Elizabeth Rowe
May 20, 2011 Elizabeth Rowe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, 2012
I am amazed by Elizabeth Strout's ability to write such real stories with real, flawed characters. It's almost refreshing to see that there's not a cut-and-dry good guy or bad guy, that characters are struggling with themselves and each other. This story was somewhat maddening in the complete lack of compassion that was given by the townspeople to the minister and his family, but, again, that seems to be a product of the times where you're expected to put up a front for the outside world, and pe ...more
Lormac
Jun 22, 2010 Lormac rated it liked it
Because I enjhoyed 'Olive Kittridge" so much, I decided to try the author's earlier books.

I was slogging through this book until the final 30 pages, at which time it completely turned the corner for me. Tyler Caskey is a minister of a small church in rural Maine in the 1950s and his midlife crisis is brought on prematurely
by the death of his wife. Yet, throughout his difficulties he never really loses his faith in God, which may be why I began to warm to this book. I do not think I am giving an
...more
Piperitapitta
Oct 24, 2014 Piperitapitta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ancora una volta New England, ancora una volta il Maine, ancora una volta nei dintorni di Shirley Falls, la cittadina immaginaria gi�� teatro delle vicende di ��Amy e Isabelle��.
�� come se fosse ovattata questa storia, come se tutto, i suoni, i colori, le parole, fossero attutiti dalla neve che copre come una fredda coperta il paesaggio circostante, da quei ��fiocchi bianchi come denti di leone che cadevano dal cielo�� che ammantano le strade di West Annett.
Eppure, questo, �� forse il pi�� duro
...more
Sarah
Apr 08, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
This is my 4th Strout novel and I love them all. Each one was my favorite one!
Although I have my own understanding of the meaning of the word 'abide' I decided to look up the actual definition before I came to this review page. I was surprised to find that the word means two things that I interpret as being opposite in meaning! Just as aloha or shalom can mean two things, abide seems to fit this bill. Abide on one hand means "to accept or act in accordance with...." OR "be unable to tolerate (s
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I liked this enough on a speed dating project (the first one of 2016) that I kept it until I finished it. It was a good choice for a bedside read because it isn't very dense, has a handful of main characters, and moves pretty quickly. It was a great read during the great insomnia episode of 2016 (ahem, last night.)

The story is about a pastor who is trying to raise two small girls after the death of his wife. One daughter has become a mysterious monster in her own grief and he is trying to reconc
...more
Ilona
Jul 28, 2012 Ilona rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, fiction-general
One of the best things about fiction is the way it can give you windows into another way of perceiving the world. This book did that for me. Even as I recognized in Tyler, the young minister who is the focal character of the book, a type of man that drives me mad in real life, I immediately cared very much that he find his way through the challenges he faces.

We soon discover he has lost his wife, though whether he has lost her to another man, to unhappiness/dissatisfaction/abandonment, or to dea
...more
Susan Emmet
Nov 04, 2014 Susan Emmet rated it really liked it
I go backwards with Strout and that's just fine. Lived with Olive and then the Burgess Boys and that was all good.
Abide - kind of a dual meaning and part of a wonderful hymn. To be with or share; to endure and support. To ask God to "stand by me." Or thee.
I think Strout nails much of Maine rural life - or any really rural life - on the head. Language, description, local characters and gossip, yearnings and jealousies and telephone party lines that give way to Old Wo/Man Rumor, are priceless and
...more
Elalma
Jun 16, 2012 Elalma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Come posso servire al meglio la causa dell'amore? Facile forse la risposta quando si � felici, ma per il reverendo Tyler � difficile in quel microcosmo del piccolo villaggio del Maine, dove l'inverno dura a lungo, e l'estate un soffio. A volte pare che l'inverno sia anche nel cuore di tutte le persone del romanzo, che si scoprono a poco a poco, fino a che si finisce per amarle tutte, proprio perch� cos� umane nei loro difetti e nei loro sentimenti. Belle le pagine dedicate alla bambina. Mi chied ...more
Robert
Sep 20, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it
I was crazy about Olive Kitteridge (well, why wouldn't I be - it won the Pulitzer!) and I loved Amy and Isabelle too. So I was probably overhyped about reading this book - her second. It was wonderful and I never put it down. She is wonderfully kind to her characters and she needed to be with this guy - the young minister, Tyler Caskey. But, I'm afraid I wasn't so kind with him. I wanted to slap him around about every other page. "Wake up," I wanted to yell. "Look out for your wife." "Look out f ...more
jen8998
Apr 06, 2009 jen8998 rated it did not like it
I really disliked this tale of a minister grieving the loss of his wife. He's grieving, his young daughter won't talk, his mother is profoundly unsupportive, his housekeeper turns out to be both a murderer and a thief. You'd think his congregation would be sympathetic, forgiving maybe. Not so much in this novel. Instead, they spread unfounded rumors about his having an affair with his housekeeper, talk about him behind his back and recommend placing his grieving daughter in a special school for ...more
Velvetink
Feb 08, 2013 Velvetink rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
donated to The Smith Family. 20.2.15

not so bad, contained quotes by Bonhoeffer.

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


found today 8/2/2013 1 of 20 books for $10
Suzanne
Apr 22, 2012 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Very moving. Very true to life. Tyler is a minister in a small town. He is a believer. His parishioners are real: gossipy; jealous; veterans of war and veterans of life. They break just about all of the Commandments and are unaware of their transgressions. His love for his daughters keeps him alive. This is a quick read; but I thought it was great.
Janet
Sep 11, 2015 Janet rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
3.5 stars. Review to come. Probably. ;)
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ELIZABETH STROUT is the author of several novels, including: Abide with Me, a national bestseller and BookSense pick, and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. In 2009 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book Olive Kitteri ...more
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“I suspect the most we can hope for, and it's no small hope, is that we never give up, that we never stop giving ourselves permission to try to love and receive love.” 2246 likes
“You just stood up to your mother.... I should think now you could take on the world.” 9 likes
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