The Dearly Beloved

✻ [BOOKS] ✯ The Dearly Beloved By Cara Wall ❅ – The Dearly Beloved traces two married couples whose lives become entangled when the husbands become copastors at a famed New York city congregation in the 1960sCharles and Lily James and Nan They meet The Dearly Beloved traces two married couples whose lives become entangled when the husbands become copastors at a famed New York city congregation in the sCharles and Lily James and Nan They meet The Dearly eBook ´ in Greenwich Village in when Charles and James are jointly hired to steward the historic Third Presbyterian Church through turbulent times Their personal differences however threaten to tear them apart Charles is destined to succeed his father as an esteemed professor of history at Harvard until an unorthodox lecture about faith leads him to ministry How then can he fall in love with Lily—fiercely intellectual elegantly stern—after she tells him with certainty that she will never believe in God And yet how can he not James the youngest son in a hardscrabble Chicago family spent much of his youth angry at his alcoholic father and avoiding his anxious mother Nan grew up in Mississippi the devout and beloved daughter of a minister and a debutante James’s escape from his desperate circumstances leads him to Nan and despite his skepticism of hope in all its forms her gentle constant faith changes the course of his life In The Dearly Beloved Cara wall reminds us of “the power of the novel in its simplest richest form bearing intimate witness to human beings grappling with their faith and falling in love” Entertainment Weekly A as we follow these two couples through decades of love and friendship jealousy and understanding forgiveness and commitment Against the backdrop of turbulent changes facing the city and the church’s congregation Wall offers a poignant meditation on faith and reason marriage and children and the ways we find meaning in our lives The Dearly Beloved is a gorgeous wise and provocative novel that is destined to become a classic.The Dearly Beloved

Cara Wall is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and Stanford University While at Iowa Wall taught fiction writing in the undergraduate creative writing department as well as at the Iowa Young The Dearly eBook ´ Writer’s Studio in her capacity of founder and inaugural director She went on to teach middle school English and history and has been published by Glamour Salon and the San Francisco Chronicle She.

The Dearly Beloved PDF ☆ The Dearly  eBook ´
  • Paperback
  • 384 pages
  • The Dearly Beloved
  • Cara Wall
  • English
  • 09 June 2014
  • 9781982104535

10 thoughts on “The Dearly Beloved

  1. says:

    A tremendously well done first novel Two couples whose lives will become entwined for better and worse Charles whose faith in God is all inclusive and Lily his wife who after the loss of her parents no longer believes Jan a pastors daughter whose faith is the mainstay of her life and her husband James who wants to change things so becomes a pastor for this purpose One church two pastorsThis is not a subject I'm usually drawn to liturgical matters and this is a subject that is front and center It is the struggles of these four very different people that for me was the draw characters that one finds real and honest How they change with the very real trials and tribulations of life Marriage Parenthood community needs pastoral services friendship and adjustments The character I had the hardest time accepting Lily would prove to be the strongest and by books end one I greatly admired Their are moments of joy moments of sadness The writing is mature the subject matter including autism ones faith doubt and hopes are all gently explored In fact that is the feel of this book a gentleness in the portrayal of flawed individuals who learn through time to make the many adjustments life often asks of usARC from Simon and Schuster

  2. says:

    This novel tackles several uestions that engage me What possesses someone to be called to the ministry? Can a couple with opposite beliefs find happiness? We meet Charles and Lily James and Nan two ministers and their wives We are provided their backgrounds so that we get a true sense of what has molded them into the people they are They’re not at all similar which makes it even interesting as they work to find ways to work together It’s a book about relationships between spouses families co workers It’s about what we share with others and how much of us they can really understand The writing here is so lush it is meant to be savored It seems so polished it’s hard to realize this is a debut novel It’s got to be really hard to write about religion and whyhow people believe and make the reader understand Wall does it Now I consider myself religious and this book really resonated with me I loved the points made about faith vs love about what faith provided to those that believed about how we are tested and how our faith holds up or doesn’t Because I had recommended this for my church’s book club I found two interviews with Wall She states that the book is about faith not religion and the work it takes to become empathetic “It’s a raw honest examination of the way we overcome our differences We talk a lot about empathywithout really talking about how hard that is and how worth it it is You can accept someone without diminishing yourself It’s not a sacrifice to accept somebody else” I’m also so glad the book was written in an omniscient point of view so that we know exactly what each of the characters is thinking It would never have worked to have their beliefs filtered through another character’s perceptions I’d be willing to bet that each reader will have a favorite character Mine was Charles I loved his faith his hope his charity I felt his pain and loved the lessons he learnedOk guess I’ve gushed enough You can certainly see how much I loved this book Another of my favorite books of 2019

  3. says:

    This one sneaks up on you with its gorgeous contemplative story which grabs hold of your mind and your heart Wow how I loved thisLove is the enjoyment of something The feeling of wanting something deeply of wanting nothing Our love of God is not as important as our faith in God Love wanes Faith cannot One can have faith and anger faith and hate One can believe deeply and still rail against God still blame God In fact if one can hate God it is a sign of deep faith because you cannot hate and at the same time doubt God's existenceJames and Charles meet in 1963 when they are both interviewing to become the minister of an historic church in Greenwich Village They couldn’t be opposite from one another—Charles views his call as one to guide his congregation to support them and help them understand events of the world while James views his as a call to action that God is served by changing the worldThe two are hired as co ministers which seems to suit them fine and they become immensely close The same cannot be said of their wives James’ wife Nan a minister’s daughter understands the role of the church in their lives while Lily Charles’ wife has a definitive lack of faith shaped by a childhood tragedy that causes her to withdraw even resent at times the life her husband has been called to Nan immerses herself in the church Lily wants as far away from it as possible The Dearly Beloved follows the four through decades of friendship love loyalty resentment jealousy and of course faith The challenges of the world the tragedies and triumphs of their own lives will test and reaffirm their faith through the yearsThis book was simply amazing I cannot believe that this is Wall’s debut novel It’s not a book that reuires any knowledge of religion or faith—it’s an exploration of how faith means different things to different people and how it appears and disappears at different times in our livesJames and Charles are the easier characters to embrace I found Nan and Lily difficult to like for a while until I understood their place in the story and realized the complexities Wall bestowed upon her charactersI honestly think this is one of the best books I’ve read this year It’s one of those that feels like the great American novel just a triumph of storytelling That's something I don’t find too often these daysSee all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoriablogspotcomYou can follow me on Instagram at

  4. says:

    Heloved 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 together375 starsThe Dearly Beloved is a character study about friendship family and faithCharles and Lily James and Nan 2 couples brought together through the ministry of the Third Presbyterian Church in NYC in the 1960s Their journey to the church and with one another has its ups and downs but in the end they are united by loveThe book’s main theme focuses on faith Finding faith lacking faith and losing one’s faith It does not focus on religion much rather the focus is on faith and believing in a higher power The narrative is not preachy but it does have a strong message about faith and loveThe narrative begins in the 1950s Chapters alternate between all four characters Each character has a distinctive voice and a different relationship with faith and God Charles finds God while in college James continuously grapples with his faith and belief in God but finds his way to the Church intending to help others Nan has an unwavering belief in God while Lily is a non believer Of all the characters I found Lily to be the most interesting and complexI loved the beginning but the middle fizzled out Towards the end I fell back into the storyWhile I enjoyed Cara Wall’s writing style the pacing is a little uneven and some events happen a little too easily The first half of the book focuses on each character separately then moves to when they become couples to when they become a groupThe characters overcome a lot of struggles and have to jump over many hurdles along the way Some of these struggles are oversimplified and glossed over It would have helped me believe if I could have seen the blood sweat tears and rejections that come along with these endeavors vs everything being neatly wrapped upHowever I enjoyed seeing these characters develop watching their relationships blossom and grow as well as uniting during difficult times When I finished reading I felt like the book was incomplete but then I came to the realization that the story ends when the four characters are united as one I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a GoodReads Giveaway

  5. says:

    45 starsBeginning in the 1960s one of my favorite time periods this is a story somewhat reminiscent of Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner We follow two couples for many decades Charles and James who co pastor a church and their wives Lily and Nan Charles is the deep thinker the pastor whose strength is counseling parishioners who are struggling with difficulties James is the activist who believes his job is to stir the parishioners into action to right the world’s injustices Lily is the atheist wife who is non traditional and has zero interest in being friends with Nan or becoming involved in the life of the parish Nan is the woman of faith who is a do gooder and is perfectly content being a traditional pastor’s wife who longs for nothing than to be a wife and mother These two women personify the changing role of women through the turbulent 1960s But what happens when life doesn’t uite work out as you expected? Life and relationships are messy Tragedy and losses occur This character driven novel doesn’t offer easy solutions but thoughtfully examines the complexities of life and how our beliefs life experiences and background affects the way we relate to others and how we weather the storms of life Who has grit and why? This story is beautifully written and gives the reader much to ponder The characters are realistically complex and my feelings changed about each of them as I readThis was a buddy read with Marialyce and is definitely one of our better discussion books We had many thoughtful conversations and I’m so glad I had her to talk with as we read The last 20% was a tad too pat and predictable thus the 45 stars For a debut it was amazing and I’m looking forward to seeing what the author does next i received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review For our duo review of this book

  6. says:

    Do you believe in God? And if so how do you envision him? Has your faith been tested?2 ministers and their wives lives become intertwined when they both get a position ministering in the same church in NYC We learn of individual challenges they each have had and where faith fits in or doesn’t Their lives take a dramatic turn when a child is born very different from his twinThis one hit home hard My parents were very hardcore believers They adopted my younger brother at 6 months to complete the 4 sibling clan When my brother started missing the milestones a test of their faith and their marriage beganThis one gets 45⭐️because it was so relatable And as much as my faith has waned this story has given me pause and cause to consider how it fits into my life again Faith comes in many forms not just the traditional ones

  7. says:

    45 stars“Because only in the uality of your struggle with one another will you learn anything about yourself” There are some books that make you think for a moment or two and then those thoughts run off forgotten as they become just another book read There are some books however that keep you thinking and wondering for days weeks or even months after you have finished reading them Such was this storyThis is a story of four people three of which are people of faith while one is a non believer Charles and James are new ministers landing a position at the same church who together with their wives Nan and Lily try to forge forward in a religious life for the three of them and a life bereft of God for one of them Nan is an affirmed believer in God while Lily the product of the early tragic death of her parents is a nonbeliever The dilemma seems to be how can one reconcile being married to a minister when you do not believe in what he does? There is a large amount of interplay between the characters and as the story continues the tragedies of life invade the marriages and one would think a faith in the almighty would be enough to carry one through But is it?This story had currents swirling beneath the surface of its words So many themes were touched upon and the reader was left to understand and find their own explanation of events and happenings So many uestions were asked of the reader Can one be married to someone who doesn't share your religious belief Is God the only way to peace in life? Is it possible to be too good to mask your feelings in an attempt to please God? Is tragedy in life a way that God shows you a way through it or is it the human spirit often resilient that offers one peace and a way forward? Can marriage work when up against adversity? What really attracts one person to another even though they are as different as night and day?This was a wonderful book that had great components and would be absolutely perfect for a book club discussion group There was much to fathom here and much to ponder as you read about the journey these two couples embarked upon as they tried to both understand their position in the world and the way forward in life I definitely recommend this story for all the aforementioned reasons Thank you to Cara Wall Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for a copy of this bookA book that sparks talk and makes people want to discuss all its points and nuances is one that is a trip to the world of reading and loving what an author's words can do to a story In this book Jan and I had uite a few talks that led to other talks and then to of the same We both came away pretty much in awe of the feelings that this book evoked in the both of us To see our duo reviews

  8. says:

    I know I’m the minority for this rating but this book did not speak to me I went into it with such high hopes because of the glowing reviews and I had heard from others I did not feel connected in anyway to the 4 main characters I thought they were all very flat I would have not finished this but was too far into to give up I did not feel the premise of the novel was realistic at all The marriage between Charles and Lilly seemed forced I cannot believe that a man called to preach could marry an atheistand then James not fully believing in God but joining the ministry because he felt there was to life and he wanted to find it? I felt it just floated from year to year without any real substance Anyway this book just wasn’t for me but I am glad others have found joy from it

  9. says:

    The way people described this as beautiful and character driven I was almost sure it wouldn't be for me That I would find it a slog and be bored But instead I find myself bereft at it being over I'd describe this as glimpses of love and life and friendship and God The writing is amazing and I took photos of multiple passages The people are real and flawed and phenomenal So instead of an unpopular opinion like I thought I would have I'm joining my voice with the chorus James and Nan and Lily and Charles will stay with me for a long time

  10. says:

    45 stars A great book to kick start my 2020 book challenge This book was wonderful in that it creeps into your thoughts as you get to know the characters better it would be easy to dismiss this book due to it’s themes of god and religion but that was the power of this book the different perspectives and the humanity of the characters making for a real and thought provoking read The fact that these characters end up being bound together with all their personal differences individually grappling with ideas of belief and faith all while navigating the complexities of everyday life’s challenges and obstacles made for an uniue and interesting read

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