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Evensong: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's…
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Evensong: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (original 1999; udgave 2000)

af Gail Godwin (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
809927,866 (3.76)13
An Anglican priestess in North Carolina finds her role threatened by a fiery evangelist, also a woman. It happens in a town in the Smoky Mountains where Margaret Bonner runs an Episcopal ministry. The area is plagued by social unrest and fundamentalist preacher Grace Munger is muscling in, claiming her brand of religion will bring hope. By the author of Father Melancholy's Daughter.… (mere)
Medlem:LoriWise
Titel:Evensong: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
Forfattere:Gail Godwin (Forfatter)
Info:Ballantine Books (2000), Edition: Later Printing, 432 pages
Samlinger:Read
Vurdering:*****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Evensong af Gail Godwin (1999)

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Here's what I wrote in 2008 about this read: "A light vacation read. Pastors pastoring in their small towns; a sequel to an earlier novel which I did not read." ( )
  MGADMJK | Jul 27, 2023 |
I think I’ve had this title on my proverbial nightstand for about two years.

I finished the book half an hour ago, and while I won’t provide any spoilers, the timing of completion was uncannily in sync with the timing of significant events in my own life; the events aren’t similar at all, but calendar-wise there are some interesting parallels. Therefore, it’s tempting for me, with my metaphysical bent, to declare I didn’t finish it two years ago because I was meant to read it now. Honestly though – it’s just that the book has an exceedingly slow initial trajectory and requires strong intent to get into one’s reading groove.

This is the first-person narrative of (fictional, obviously) Episcopal priest Margaret Bonner as she deals with varying levels of strife within her family, her congregation, and her community in a small Smoky Mountain town. The third Millennium is nearly upon the residents of High Balsam, and its advent (during Advent, actually) brings life-changing events for everyone – but especially for Margaret, her husband Adrian, and the newly arrived quasi-family members who share their home. I was struck by two things:

- Almost every character had a British accent in my head, until I had finished at least half of the book. I think this is due in part to Godwin’s writing style. Example: Margaret’s husband Adrian calls her a “stubborn girl.” How British. Also, their names are Margaret and Adrian. One is almost required to speak those names as the queen would pronounce them.

- I noted similarities in character between Margaret Bonner and the Reverend Merrily Watkins, protagonist of Phil Rickman’s series about a British priest and exorcist. Both women are remarkably unguarded and willing to appear vulnerable. The two characters inhabit vastly different worlds, and neither author is a priest, unless I’ve missed something. How interesting that they have created characters with such similarities. (This could also be why I gave everyone an accent while I was reading.)

If you’ve read any of Madeleine L’Engle’s adult fiction, you will find that this book has a similar feel – notably in both authors’ tendency to attribute adult speaking style and behavior to children and adolescents. The story is engaging, and at some points it’s a page-turner – but it does take a while to find one’s stride when reading.

( )
  CatherineB61 | May 31, 2023 |
Evensong by Gail Godwin is a beautifully written, slow-moving novel. It is a book for readers who want to delve deep into the lives of realistic characters. This book is the sequel to Father Melancholy's Daughter which is the story of the daughter of an Episcopalian priest. In Evensong, Margaret has followed her now deceased father into a career as a priest. She has married an older man, Adrian, who was a friend of her father's and still idolizes the man. Daddy issues are a main theme throughout this novel, not only through Margaret, whose was raised by her father after her mother abandoned the family, but also through her husband, who was abandoned by his parents, and Chase, a young, troubled teenager whom Margaret and Adrian take into their home after he had difficulties in foster care.

As with Father Melancholy's Daughter, I loved the picture this novel paints of life inside a church. The people are real. Margaret deals with different opinions and personality issues as she works to create a safe environment for ritual and worship. She is also on-call at all hours for people who need religious counseling. We see the personal side of Margaret's life. There are issues with her marriage stemming from her husband's insecurities as well as an incident in her own history that should have been private but isn't.

One odd thing about this novel is that although it is a slow story it gets exciting as everything wraps up at the end. I would have preferred a an ending that fit the style of the rest of the book more appropriately but other than that Evensong is a great read. ( )
  SteveLindahl | Oct 12, 2021 |
The characters in this book are in the clergy. There is some swearing and references to permissive premarital sexual activity.
  WRCCLibrary | Oct 11, 2010 |
This book was sometimes a bit slow, but it was thought provoking in its dealings with religious questions and I'd like to actually read it again. ( )
2 stem mcjsimon | Sep 6, 2007 |
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Evensong, n [ME,;AS. aefensang; see EVEN, n., & SONG] a worship service said or sung at the onset of evening to mark the close of day and to compose the mind and renew the spirit for the coming day.
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An Anglican priestess in North Carolina finds her role threatened by a fiery evangelist, also a woman. It happens in a town in the Smoky Mountains where Margaret Bonner runs an Episcopal ministry. The area is plagued by social unrest and fundamentalist preacher Grace Munger is muscling in, claiming her brand of religion will bring hope. By the author of Father Melancholy's Daughter.

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