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The Dearly Beloved: A Novel por Cara Wall
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The Dearly Beloved: A Novel (edição 2019)

por Cara Wall (Autor)

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5132747,453 (3.96)7
"Set in the years 1950-1970 in a changing America and London, follow[s] two married couples - ministers and academics - whose intricate bonds of faith and friendship, jealousy and understanding, are tested by the birth of an autistic child"--
Membro:gmathis
Título:The Dearly Beloved: A Novel
Autores:Cara Wall (Autor)
Informação:Simon & Schuster (2019), Edition: 1st, 352 pages
Coleções:A sua biblioteca
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The Dearly Beloved por Cara Wall

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Mostrando 1-5 de 27 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Didn't think I'd enjoy this as much as I did. Well done. ( )
  AnneMarie2463 | Mar 31, 2023 |
Would have given 3.5 stars if that were an option. Just something unsettling about the dynamics of the couples. I enjoyed the build up of the relationships. Read upon recommendation of a book that had a long lasting but not fairytale marriage. I appreciated the different kinds of strength each of the female protagonists had. Didn't leave me longing for more, but was better than middle of the road. ( )
  Sue.Gaeta | Jan 10, 2023 |
Well done I guess but not my kind of novel (read it for my book club). Mostly I didn’t find the characters interesting (I did like Lily). And way too much religion for my taste. ( )
  steve02476 | Jan 3, 2023 |
I will begin by stating that I don’t gravitate to books with religious themes. I read this one because it was chosen by my book club.

The book is about two ministers and their wives. Covering 1953 to 1970, the novel shows these four as they grow up, attend college, get married, establish careers, create families, and weather tragedies.

Charles Barrett, the son of a Harvard professor, falls in love with Lily who has never recovered from the death of her parents and who is a staunch non-believer. James MacNally, who comes from an impoverished family with an alcoholic parent, falls in love with Nan, a minister’s daughter from an influential and affluent family. The two men are made co-ministers of the Third Presbyterian Church in Greenwich Village in the 1960s. Charles sees his mission as guiding and supporting his parishioners while James tries to inspire congregants in the fight for social justice. Nan becomes the quintessential clergyman’s wife while Lily becomes involved in academia and activism. Events cause rifts between the couples and bring them together.

I had difficulty with the foundations of the novel. Everyone falls in love at first sight? Would a man of so much faith marry an atheist? Isn’t religious faith and belief experiential, not an academic pursuit? Would a man who does not fully believe in God become a minister when his desire to help others and change the world could just as easily be met in another role? A parish is so wealthy as to be able to support two ministers? I also had difficulty with the ending. Annelise arrives to save the day and a man proceeds to fall in love with her the moment he sees her!

The author goes out of her way to build religion into the structure of the novel, but I found it to be less about faith than love. In a scene near the end, one of the characters realizes that a group of people are his beloved because he loves all of them “more than he would have ever thought possible, loved them not with the automatic love of childhood or the easy love of coincidence, but with the tautly stitched love of people who have faced uncertainty together, who have stuck it out, the strong love of people who looked to their side while suffering and saw the other there.” God is never mentioned.

I tend to enjoy books with dynamic characters that change and grow. All four of the major characters do learn from experiences. For instance, one comes to realize the importance of connection while another learns that doubt can assail anyone. Unfortunately, I didn’t find that I really cared. The characters come across as wooden because the author relies more on telling than showing.

This book just did not speak to me. Perhaps I lack the type of faith necessary to appreciate its nuances.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski). ( )
  Schatje | Jul 28, 2022 |
This book centers on two couples, Charles and Lily as well as James and Nan. Charles and James are both ministers who become co-leaders of a church in New York City. Each of the four has a dramatically different relationship with religion: Charles focuses on guiding the church members, while James (though not entirely confident in his own faith) focuses on effecting social justice through his position. The wives diverge even more: Nan, the daughter of a minister, is comfortable in her faith and in her role as a minister's wife, while Lily believes in her husband but staunchly does not believe in God. Through this book, we follow their lives for a number of years.

I've had this on my radar since it came out, so I'm really glad that I finally got to this. I found this really lovely and thought it was really interesting to watch the characters' lives unfold. ( )
  forsanolim | May 18, 2022 |
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