Title: A Lesson in Hope (Hope #2)
Author: Philip Gulley
Publisher: Center Street
My rating is 4 stars.
I’ve never read any Philip Gulley books so I did look at some of his previous books as well as what other readers thought. Some of the reviews weren’t clear enough for me to know whether the reader enjoyed it or not, plus it would have been advantageous for me to have read the Harmony Series to understand the main male character, which I haven’t done.
As a Quaker Pastor, Sam definitely is in many situations that are hard and challenging as are many pastors. Sam is supported by his wife Barbara. His parents drop in for a visit and his brother then decides to introduce the woman he is dating. The background characters are various, intriguing and can be found in any church. Sam doesn’t seem to me to be held by convictions of a pastor as he is of what others think he should or shouldn’t do. The story really places a heavy concentration in what or where Sam finds fulfillment. In one place, he doesn’t seem to understand the blessings around him until he calls a meeting house only to learn the letter he received was sent out to many and not just to him.
There were some very funny parts in the book that caused me to burst out laughing and they came when I least expected them. I appreciated those moments as well as the tension in the congregation when it learns it is to receive a large sum of money. Perhaps if I had time to read the other series or understood the Friends beliefs I would understand more what the author shares. However, authors need to realize that some readers draw conclusions, rightly or wrongly, from fiction as they do nonfiction. Be careful of what and how you present a denomination in life, beliefs or mannerisms.
I do suggest readers read the Harmony series to get a better understanding of the main character Sam as the pastor, as well as the congregations.
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