A Place Called Hope
By Philip Gulley
(Center Street, Paperback, 9781455519804, 256pp.)
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
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When Quaker Pastor Sam Gardner is asked by the ill Unitarian minister to oversee a wedding in his place, Sam naturally agrees. It's not until the couple stands before him that he realizes they're two women. In the tempest of strong opinions and misunderstandings that follows the incident, Sam faces potential unemployment. Deeply discouraged, he wonders if his pastoral usefulness has come to an end. Perhaps it's time for a change. After all, his wife has found a new job at the library, his elder son is off to college, and the younger has decided to join the military once he graduates high school. Sam is contemplating a future selling used cars when he receives a call from a woman in the suburban town of Hope, Indiana. It seems Hope Friends Meeting is in desperate need of a pastor. Though they only have twelve members, they also have a beautiful meetinghouse and a pie committee (Sam is fond of pie). But can he really leave his beloved hometown of Harmony?
Philip Gulley, a Quaker pastor, has become the voice of small-town American life. Along with writing Front Porch Tales, Hometown Tales, and For Everything a Season, Philip Gulley is the author of the Harmony Series of novels. Gulley lives in Indiana with his wife, Joan, and their sons.
"Gulley's many fans will enjoy renewing acquaintance with Sam [Gardner], wince at his struggles, and grin at his triumphs, and eagerly turn pages as he makes his way through a maze of decisions and inner turmoil....A worthy and anticipated follow-up to the Harmony series."—Publishers Weekly
"Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor from Indiana with a charming sense of small-town life-and a shrewd sense of life in general...A self-deprecating narrator...he knows how to exaggerate in a witty way."—The Wall Street Journal
"Gulley's work is comparable to Gail Godwin's fiction, Garrison Keillor's storytelling, and Christopher Guest's filmmaking...in a league with Jan Karon's Mitford series."—Publishers Weekly
"The biggest collection of crusty, lovable characters since James Herriot settled in Yorkshire."—Booklist on The Harmony series
"The tales Philip Gulley unveils are tender and humorous . . . filled with sudden, unexpected, lump-in-the-throat poignancy. Through deft storytelling and his own irresistible brand of humor, [Gulley] explores the depths of the Heartland's heart. A masterpiece of Americana."—Paul Harvey, Jr.
"Philip Gulley is a beautiful writer."—Charles Osgood, CBS Sunday Morning
"Gulley's stories get at the heart of the simple joys, stranger-than-fiction humor, and day-to-day drama of small-town life."—American Profile Magazine
"With the storytelling ability of Garrison Keillor, Gulley spins tales that are also a bit like Jan Karon's Mitford. Gulley is a splendid storyteller...his books abound with shrewd insights into human character."—Arkansas Democrat-Gazette