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Just Shy of Harmony (A Harmony Novel) Hardcover – February 19, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
- Publisher : HarperOne; 1st edition (February 19, 2002)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 242 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060006323
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060006327
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.89 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Sam Gardner is the narrator of the story and he is the Quaker minister of Harmony Friends Meeting. He is feeling beaten down by the church he is serving and suffers a crisis of faith. When a minister no longer is sure he believes in God, it makes it difficult to preach each Sunday and serve the church the way the members feel they should be served. The way the membership handles this is the springboard for much of what happens in the rest of the novel. Many of the characters we met in "Home to Harmony" appear in this book as well. Dale Hinshaw feels called to develop his scripture egg ministry (you have to read the book to find out what this crazy idea is), Asa and Jesse Peacock struggle to make ends meet while sitting on a winning lottery ticket, Wayne and Sally Fleming struggle with major issues in their marriage, and Fern Hampton is busy trying to get a new vanity in the ladies room installed and dedicated to another family member. These are just a few of the storylines woven throughout this slim but full novel.
Often laugh-out-loud funny and always poignant, this is a wonderful book and fabulous series that I can't speak of highly enough. In the case of these books, they are permanent fixtures in my home and I go back to re-read when in the mood for comfortable, but with meaning.
Others have compared this series to the Mitford Series by Jan Karon (which I also love). While I think the audiences for these two groups of books will often overlap, they are still different and just because you love Jan Karon doesn't necessarily mean you will love these. There is a bit more of a "bite" in here since, while very very humorous, there are people here you really wouldn't want to spend more time with than you had to. Great book, Great series!!
Side note: A resident of central Indiana myself, I have had the opportunity to hear Mr. Gulley speak multiple times over the years. If you ever get the chance, please take advantage of it. He is a fabulous speaker and once you hear him it will enhance your enjoyment of his books. Now, when I read his work, I actually hear his voice reading aloud - very distinctive voice and style. I was actually disappointed to find that the audio recording was not by the author. He would have done a better job, I think.
Many church goers from all traditions may enjoy these anecdotes. All I can say in conclusion is that I hope he has changed names to protect the innocent........