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Extended Audio Sample Abide with Me: A Novel Audiobook, by Elizabeth Strout Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,666 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Strout Narrator: Gerrianne Raphael Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2006 ISBN: 9780739324691
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In her luminous and long-awaited new novel, bestselling author Elizabeth Strout welcomes readers back to the archetypal, lovely landscape of northern New England, where the events of her first novel, Amy and Isabelle, unfolded. In the late 1950s, in the small town of West Annett, Maine, a minister struggles to regain his calling, his family, and his happiness in the wake of profound loss. At the same time, the community he has served so charismatically must come to terms with its own strengths and failings–faith and hypocrisy, loyalty and abandonment–when a dark secret is revealed.

Tyler Caskey has come to love West Annett, “just up the road” from where he was born. The short, brilliant summers and the sharp, piercing winters fill him with awe–as does his congregation, full of good people who seek his guidance and listen earnestly as he preaches. But after suffering a terrible loss, Tyler finds it hard to return to himself as he once was. He hasn’t had The Feeling–that God is all around him, in the beauty of the world–for quite some time. He struggles to find the right words in his sermons and in his conversations with those facing crises of their own, and to bring his five-year-old daughter, Katherine, out of the silence she has observed in the wake of the family’s tragedy.

A congregation that had once been patient and kind during Tyler’s grief now questions his leadership and propriety. In the kitchens, classrooms, offices, and stores of the village, anger and gossip have started to swirl. And in Tyler’s darkest hour, a startling discovery will test his congregation’s humanity–and his own will to endure the kinds of trials that sooner or later test us all. 

In prose incandescent and artful, Elizabeth Strout draws readers into the details of ordinary life in a way that makes it extraordinary. All is considered–life, love, God, and community–within these pages, and all is made new by this writer’s boundless compassion and graceful prose.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Strout’s greatly anticipated second novel . . . is an answered prayer. Vanity Fair
  • Superb . . . a shimmering tale of loss, faith, and human fallibility . . . You feel yourself in the hands of a master storyteller. O: The Oprah Magazine
  • Deeply moving . . . In one beautiful page after another, Strout captures the mysterious combinations of hope and sorrow. She sees all these wounded people with heartbreaking clarity, but she has managed to write a story that cradles them in understanding and that, somehow, seems like a foretaste of salvation. The Washington Post
     
  • This lovely second novel confirms Strout as the possessor of an irresistibly companionable, peculiarly American voice: folksy, poetic, but always as precise as a shadow on a brilliant winter day. The Atlantic Monthly
     
  • Graceful and moving . . . The pacing of Strout’s deeply felt fiction about the distance between parents and children gives her work an addictive quality. People (four stars)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/11/2014

    " beautiful, as Oliver Kitteridge was. Overall, OK was better but for someone with an interest in personal faith and belief, this was very satisfying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carole | 2/6/2014

    " Rather offbeat plot. Not as good as Olive Kittridge but compelling.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina Lazic | 1/24/2014

    " Interesting twists and psychology, but wrapped up a little too neatly in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 1/24/2014

    " This is a beautiful portrait of grief in a small Maine town. I didn't like it quite as well as Olive Kittredge, but it's also really skillfully done. It feels true. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 1/21/2014

    " Many stories packed into one lovely novel. One might think the story of a minister of a small Maine town during the mid-50s may be a bore, but no, it's brilliant. I gasped, I teared up, I laughed, I highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Khaya | 1/14/2014

    " This was pretty good. I liked "Amy and Isabelle" (her first book) also. The only thing that bothered me was that the ending was a little too neat; while, on the one hand, I wanted some happiness for this poor minister (in fact, I think the book was a little too tragic until the end, which is another reason I took off a star), I thought that the way everyone came through for him in the end was a bit unrealistic. At the same time, I was really moved by some of the events at the end of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christi | 1/12/2014

    " Strout also wrote Olive Kitteridge. She just amazes me with her knowledge of human nature and motivations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Lee | 1/12/2014

    " Well written, loss and forgiveness and how to be true to yourself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 1/3/2014

    " One of the best rural novels I've read in awhile. Incredible character development and presentation of human aberration. Will read her other novels as this was beautiful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 theresa Younce | 12/31/2013

    " I read (actually listened on cd) several years ago. It was quite sad and I would really like to read something else this author wrote. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hcorwin | 12/19/2013

    " Was not what I expected but I truly enjoyed it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sonia | 11/25/2013

    " I actually didn't read all of it. I started it, but couldn't get through it -- it was too slow. Then I skipped ahead and skipped ahead, etc. I still couldn't get through it. I even read part of the ending. Oh well, I guess I can't like all books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 10/31/2013

    " this was a nice book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heidi | 10/29/2013

    " Decent book in terms of character development, but not much of a plot--read it in one day. I haven't read her other book, but heard it was good "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 2/8/2013

    " Strout's writing is so beautiful! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bethanne | 1/31/2013

    " I enjoyed the book -- one that made me think about human behavior. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie | 8/3/2012

    " Just finished this one 5/08. The first half I was depressed, but the second half picked up really well, and I enjoyed the overall message of the book after all. The writing is beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 1/28/2012

    " i am so frustated i cant remember what the real deal is with the moher tha died and with litle katherine. i am in need of spoilersplease. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 1/25/2012

    " Young minister faces personal loss and seeks to find himself in a small rural community in Maine "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marti | 12/4/2011

    " a slow moving but ultimately rewarding story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel Ogle | 10/26/2011

    " This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. A bonhoeffer quoting preacher struggles with grief and loss on multiple levels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 7/7/2011

    " Small-town Maine in the 1950s. Young Reverand Tyler Caskey deals with his wife's death, difficulties with his daughter, and a crisis of faith while trying to minister to his congregation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 6/15/2011

    " Well written characters, but such a serious story - I kept hoping for more uplifting moments like in Olive Kitteridge. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shereekjohnson | 5/21/2011

    " Liked "Olive Kitteridge" so much I wanted to read more by the author. And this didn't disappoint. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 5/10/2011

    " This was a difficult book for me to read. I never fully got into it and it took about four times to finally read it in its entirity. A sad story and I never felt a connection with the characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sydney | 3/18/2011

    " Unfortunately I can't say this was one of my favorite books. The storyline was very depressing and vulgar and moved like molasses. The story of a New England preacher's life after his wife's untimely demise did not 'grab' me the way it should have, but I would give this author another try. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jana | 3/11/2011

    " I was fascinated to see how she wrote a novel in a traditional format after I read Olive Kitteridge. She's a keeper, I think, though I wish some of her characters were without deep dilemmas--though maybe none of us are??? Through it all she gives us hope. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jd | 2/15/2011

    " Depressing, boring, with a stupid ending and full of characters I hated. I resent the time of my life I wasted on this trash and am not getting back. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 2/8/2011

    " Really enjoying this so far-- love the spot-on description of New Englanders. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/2/2011

    " Was ok. Just something I pulled from the library shelf so it wasn't a recommendation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/31/2011

    " I expected more, I guess--but it's interestingly paralleling the Godwin book I'm currently reading--Father Melancholy's Daughter--they're quite similar.

    I liked Strout in person much better than in this book. "

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About the Author
Author Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is the author of the New York Times bestseller Olive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestseller Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London.