The Best People In The World!

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Place Called Hope

This is my first experience with author Philip Gulley and his novel involving a Quaker pastor known as Sam Gardner. Based on the cover of the book I was drawn to read it based on dealing with life in a small town of Harmony, Indiana. Sam has been the pastor of Harmony Friends Meeting, the name of his church, for the past fourteen years and he has seen a lot of change in that time. He wanted to move back to Harmony because he wanted a place that he was familiar with and one he knew quite well, but even in a town you grew up in, people change. Even Sam's family is making forward changes with his oldest moving away to college and his last remaining son, wanting to join the Army when he finishes with school. Something his wife Barbara is struggling with as a first time empty nester. She too is looking for new adventure and is tired of all the complaining Sam does when he gets home from work.

She's tired of hearing all the people in his church are tired of the way Sam is running things and they want him out. The sooner the better. They don't like how he has managed things and have tried three other times to get him fired. Now that Sam has grown tired of all the efforts of the church elders, he's finally fed up. He dreams of running a hardware store where no one cares what you do as long as you sell them what they need. You don't have to worry who you offend or if people agree with how you're doing your job.

In fact the church has just about had it with everything especially since the Unitarian church bought the vacated church building and insists on converting members of their church to join them. When Sam is called to fill in for their sick pastor at a wedding, Sam agrees to fill in. But what he doesn't realize is that it is a gay wedding and it goes against everything in his church. He knows if he does this it will simply make firing him a no brainer but since gay marriage is outlawed in the state and Sam isn't marrying them just witnessing it and offering a prayer he doesn't think there would be an issue. But that is exactly the match to light the fire for the elders to get rid of him. It doesn't help that Sam resigns before they fire him. Now what will he do if he can't pastor a church any longer? You'll have to pick this one up and find out.

I received A Place Called Hope by Philip Gulley compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are strictly my own. I struggled to find something in this novel I liked, a character I could relate to or even care about, but it just felt like a book of complaints directed to the town's church pastor. Every chapter dealt with another issue someone had with the pastor and his constant complaining to his wife that he hated his job. It felt redundant and I had a hard time attempting to stick it out to the end. For me to engage the reader, you have to create a character your reader will care about and even 50 pages into this one, I could care a less if Sam quit or stayed. The writing style seems choppy and the storyline just never connects enough to make me want to read any further novels in this series. It feels like a start and stop with each chapter, simply picking up another problem before it ends once again. For me, this book just didn't engage me like I would have wanted. I was hoping for so much more than what I got and there was a disconnect I could seem to fix by the end of this one. For me, this one was a 3 out of 5 stars in my opinion but others may enjoy it.

For more information about A Place Called Hope, Philip Gulley or where you can pick up a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:

You can find Philip Gulley on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on A Place Called Hope, please visit Center Street Publishing's website. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share with me your comments. I love to know what touched you about this post or how it has blessed you in any way.