The Dearly Beloved A Novel Author:Cara Wall 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 readers 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 hi... more »red 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's 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.« less
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The story of two men who are pastors at a church together for 40 years and their wives. The book focuses on their early years as they are in college and divinity school, meeting their wives, and then the first approximately 10 years they are together at the church in the 60s and early 70s. The rest of their history is seen in a prologue and epilogue. This is not a preachy book but instead shows the exploration of faith by the four main characters and the two men and their calling. Many reviews describe it as uplifting and it is but not in an obvious way. The four characters experience many hard, challenging times and there were parts where I cried which I have not done in a book in a long time.
I have no idea or memory of adding this book to my audio TBR, but there it was. I think I started it just so I could quit and delete it as it didn't even sound like something I wanted to read. I LOVED IT! Excellent narrators, great story about 4 very different people being thrown together when the 2 men take on a shared ministry in NYC in the 60's. The best part was reading about autism in the earliest days of it's diagnosis before any treatment or acceptance.
I read the audio version.