Abide with Me

Chapter 1


Oh, it would be years ago now, but at one time a minister lived with his small daughter in a town up north near the Sabbanock River, up where the river is narrow and the winters used to be especially long. The minister’s name was Tyler Caskey, and for quite some while his story was told in towns up and down the river, and as far over as the coast, until it emerged with enough variations so as to lose its original punch, and just the passing of time, of course, will affect the vigor of these things. But there are a few people still living in the town of West Annett who are said to remember quite clearly the events that took place during the wintry, final months of 1959. 

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In her luminous and long-awaited second novel, bestselling author Elizabeth Strout welcomes readers back to northern New England in the late 1950's.

Tyler Caskey has come to love West Annett. The short, brilliant summers and the sharp, piercing winters fill him with awe–as does his congregation, full of good people who seek his guidance and listen earnestly as he preaches. But after suffering a terrible loss, Tyler finds it hard to return to himself as he once was and his congregation begins to question his leadership and propriety.

In prose clear and saturated with feeling, Elizabeth Strout draws readers into the details of ordinary life in a way that makes it extraordinary. All is considered–life, love, God, and community — and all is made new by this writer's boundless compassion and graceful prose.

National Bestseller

Available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.

Strout’s greatly anticipated second novel . . . is an answered prayer.
Vanity Fair
Superb . . . a shimmering tale of loss, faith, and human fallibility . . . You feel yourself in the hands of a master storyteller.
O: The Oprah Magazine
Deeply moving . . . In one beautiful page after another, Strout captures the mysterious combinations of hope and sorrow. She sees all these wounded people with heartbreaking clarity, but she has managed to write a story that cradles them in understanding and that, somehow, seems like a foretaste of salvation.
The Washington Post
This lovely second novel confirms Strout as the possessor of an irresistibly companionable, peculiarly American voice: folksy, poetic, but always as precise as a shadow on a brilliant winter day.
The Atlantic Monthly
Graceful and moving . . . The pacing of Strout’s deeply felt fiction about the distance between parents and children gives her work an addictive quality.
People (four stars)


A Reader's Guide to Abide with Me


I tell stories because life fascinates me, baffles me, intrigues me, awes me. And by writing about the world—the natural, human world—I experience these feelings in a way that makes me both joyous and sad, and that brings me face-to-face with what I believe lies behind the mystery of our existence.
— Elizabeth Strout, "A Note About Abide with Me"

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"A Reader's Guide" is included in the paperback edition