Abide with Me

A Novel
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (356 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

National best seller

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, number one New York Times best-selling author of Olive Kitteridge comes a “superb” (O: The Oprah Magazine) novel that “confirms Strout as the possessor of an irresistibly companionable, peculiarly American voice.” (The Atlantic Monthly)

In the late 1950s, in a small New England town, Reverend Tyler Caskey has suffered a terrible loss and finds it hard to be the person he once was. 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 5-year-old daughter, Katherine, out of the silence she has observed in the wake of the family’s tragedy. Tyler’s usually patient and kind congregation now questions his leadership and propriety, and accusations are born out of anger and gossip. 

Then, in Tyler’s darkest hour, a startling discovery will test his parish’s humanity - and his own will to endure the trials that sooner or later test us all. 

Praise for Abide with Me

“Strout’s greatly anticipated second novel...is an answered prayer.” (Vanity Fair)

“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 “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

©2006 Elizabeth Strout (P)2006 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"Strout has crafted a harrowing meditation of exile on Main Street." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say
Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Understated and powerful

This is a subtle, quiet book, but it spoke volumes to me. Although it was about a minister who was widowed at a young age, it certainly isn’t what I’d call “Christian Fiction” – in otherwords, it would be enjoyed and appreciated by anyone of any faith. Yes, there are a lot of scripture references, but they reflect what is going on internally with Tyler Caskey, not statements to the readers. I loved how this book flowed, and the way each character was fleshed out. This book has many messages, and I really fell in love with this book. It seemed a bit slow going at first, if I recall, but it hooked me and I was eager to listen to the story every day, even going to the hardback version and reading what I’d already listened to! Highly recommended.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CJ
  • 09-17-09

Excellent

I really enjoyed this book - so much in fact that I listened to it twice. Elizabeth Strout captures characters just like those we have all met, and gives the little New England town in the book a personality of its own. It's both a novel with a good story - of a minister in a small town recovering from the death of his wife and dealing with the problems of his congregation - and a thoughtful book. The ideas -- which are big ones such as the nature of God, forgiveness and redemption, euthenasia -- are all there, but in a lovely approachable way so that you can wrestle with them as much or as little as you like.

The narration was fine and unobtrusive - which is perfect for this type of book.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully read

Beautifully read by Bernadette Dunne, I loved having this book in my life the whole time I was listening and experienced genuine grief when it came to an end.
The novel is considered and intelligent with extraordinary depth of feeling, but also a terrific slow burning tension. I greatly admire Strout as a writer. I wish Olive Kitteridge was on audible.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, one of the best every

What did you love best about Abide with Me?

I can't begin to say enough about how wonderful Elizabeth Strout is as a writer and how well done two of her audiobooks have been. Olive Kitteridge and Abide With Me will stand out in my list of top favorites forever!!!

This is first class all the way.

Any additional comments?

I urge everyone to get this book and, in fact, any book by Elizabeth Strout.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Quietly unassuming

Would you listen to Abide with Me again? Why?

I would listen to it again. It is a beautiful quiet portrayal about ordinary people in a small town, wrestling with real life issues like gossip and infidelity and grief. It hits you with its subtlety and does not let go.

Which character – as performed by Bernadette Dunne – was your favorite?

I liked the portrayal of Tyler, the minister. He wrestled with his faith and his calling, and Bernadette Dunne portrayed him well.

Any additional comments?

I normally don't like books of this type - a bit meandering with no BIG events... but Elizabeth Strout and Bernadette Dunne both did a great job and kept me hooked.

The only real downside to Bernadette Dunne's performance is that in narrative portions she would occasionally slip into a New England accent without warning. It was a bit confusing and distracting.

Overall, I would recommend this book. It is neither particularly deep nor particularly shallow, and all characters show growth in some way. I will read more of Elizabeth Strout's books.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite Elizabeth Strout novel so far

I have read all her books. This one is especially touching and poetic. I could visualize every scene and landscape vividly. Her descriptions of place take me there. The characters are so real and universal. I loved how she wove in the teaching/legacy of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer into the story. His seeming inconsistencies parallel the characters'. A number of weepy moments too when empathy and redemption break through. Beautiful.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding Novel-- Don't Miss It

After reading two other novels by Stout, I decided to give this one a try. This is my favorite of the three I've read.

As Stout writes, it is possible to see the town, the church, the farmhouse and to picture exactly how the characters look.
I will listen to this again since the narrator was perfect for this story.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant writing

It takes a powerful writer to render the ordinariness of our lives in such an engaging manner. Tyler Kasky is a good man who is shown to be so fully human, so vulnerable, yet so strong. Grief does not always make us stronger; it can break an individual. To live, to go on, is a choice. I love Strouts' writing and look forward to enjoying more of her books.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very Good

But quite sad. So much truth about love, pain, human beings and their strengths and shortcomings. Life is a journey;ever changing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I love Strout’ writing!

She is elegant and lyrical in her prose and captures the details of her characters perfectly. Her characters are quirky and human and a lovable with all their faults.
I sometimes do get impatient with her lengthy descriptions, but that is a minor point.

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  • Sallysomeone
  • 09-22-17

wonderful

A lovely, moving and inspirational story. I felt so much affection for the main characters.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms J Worrall
  • 06-07-20

Newly discovered favourite writer

After reading and loving Olive Kitteridge I listened to Abide With Me and appreciated anew Elizabeth Strout’s skill in creating character and through apparently small lives revealing universal truths about the human condition. Beautifully written, an author and book to be admired, beautifully read too. Recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-10-20

Looks into the dark corners of a small community


An uneasy start as from the beginning the hairline cracks in relationships standout. A rich read and beautifully read . Offered me an insight into others faith