Abide with Me
By E. Lynn Harris
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385486576, 368pp.)
Publication Date: March 16, 1999
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Dare to dream--
Since the publication of E. Lynn Harris's stunning debut novel, Invisible Life, millions of readers have laughed, cried, and anguished along with his unforgettable cast of characters. Now, his growing legions of fans will finally find out what happens in this delicious conclusion to the "Invisible Life" trilogy.
In Abide with Me, Harris returns with the utmost finesse to his signature themes of love, friendship, and family, and craftily guides his irresistible characters through new challenges and heartbreaks, and ultimately to redemption through love.
At the end of Just As I Am, Raymond Tyler, Jr., was beginning a relationship with Trent, a fraternity brother from his college days, while Nicole had found love with Jared, Raymond's buddy from Atlanta. As Abide with Me opens, Raymond and Trent are settled in Seattle, where Trent's career as an architect has blossomed and Raymond's law practice is booming. All seems well. Then, late one night, Raymond gets a call from a United States Senator that threatens everything he's built.
Raymond, facing a crisis of faith, travels to New York hoping for the support of his best friend, Jared, who's moved North after five years in Atlanta. His wife, Nicole, is performing in a revival of Dreamgirls, her lifelong fantasy at last coming true. Nicole is thrilled to return to the stage, but when things start to go wrong, her young and beautiful understudy, Yancey Harrington Braxton, steps into the spotlight a little too smoothly. And Nicole, far from achieving her dream, is suddenly forced to reevaluate her life and her marriage.
Back, too, are the other beloved inhabitants of Harris's world: Raymond's family; the sexy and dangerous gray-eyed sportscaster and ex-football player, John Basil Henderson; and Peaches, the spirited owner of the Harlem shop Cuts 'n' Cobblers and the mother of Raymond's late friend Kyle.
In Abide with Me, Harris once again encourages his readers to live, love, and dream. His masterful storytelling, wit, and sensitivity permeate this enormously satisfying novel, which is both a tribute to his loyal following and an invitation to a new audience to enter his irresistible world. His "unique spin on the ever-fascinating topics of identity, class, intimacy, sexuality, and friendship" (Vibe) will once more put E. Lynn Harris at the top of the bestseller lists.
E. Lynn Harris is a former IBM computer sales executive and a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He is the author of four previous novels, including Invisible Life, Just As I Am, and the New York Times bestsellers And This Too Shall Pass and If This World Were Mine. In 1996, Just As I Am was awarded the Novel of the Year Prize by the Blackboard African-American Bestsellers, Inc. If This World Were Mine was nominated for the 1997 NAACP Image Award and won the James Baldwin Award for Literary Excellence. Harris is also on the board of the Hurston Wright Foundation. His column, "For All I Know," debuted in The Advocate in May 1998. He divides his time between Chicago and New York, where he is working on his memoir.
Critical Acclaim for If This World Were Mine
"There is a universality about his characters--so human, so earnest, so genuine, that crossover readers are embracing the books as well. Their stories are told with warmth and humor from a perspective that is as refreshing as it is straightforward."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"A captivating story."
--Dallas Morning News
"Harris's talent as a writer has increased with each of his books. His stories have become the toast of bookstores, reading groups, men, women, and gay and straight people."
"Thoughtful, entertaining, loving and welcome."
"What's got audiences hooked? Harris's unique spin on the ever-fascinating topics of identity, class, intimacy, sexuality, and friendship."
"E. Lynn Harris has created another juicy tale."
--Washington Post Book World