Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Book Review: Home to Harmony

Each year our church has a Convocation in early September.  This year's Convocation speaker was Philip Gulley.  I enjoyed his teaching and his story telling, and several people in my church recommended both his fiction and non-fiction books.  I picked up Home to Harmony to read (picked up, meaning downloaded the kindle version from Amazon).

Information about the book

Title:  Home to Harmony
Author:  Philip Gulley
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Copyright:  2007
Links:  As I mentioned, I bought the book as a kindle e-book, so my source was Amazon.
Philip Gulley writes for a blog called Grace Talks


Home to Harmony is fiction.  Having said that, I did get the impression that the stories told were inspired by experiences the author has had.  Gulley is a Quaker pastor in Indiana; Sam, the main character in the book is also a Quaker pastor.

The book is the first in a series of books about Sam Gardner, a Quaker pastor who returns to the town in which he grew up to pastor the church there.  Each chapter is another story -- "front porch tale" - about life in his parish, and about the people who live there.

"With wry humor and front-porch storytelling, Gulley writes about the people of Harmony like old friends or neighbors (Fr. Wayne News-Sentinel).


I very much enjoyed this book.  In the characters, I could see parts of myself and those in my church, and in the situations described, I could see common situations.

Gulley is funny and engaging in his writing.  Parts of it made me laugh out loud, and others were poignant enough to draw me quickly into the story and to sympathize with the characters.  It is a quick book to read, and it is one that helps to illuminate the human situation while at the same time helping the reader to hopefully grow spiritually.


I would highly recommend this book.  If you've ever read Jan Karon's books, you will be familiar with the style of storytelling. I liked this one so much that I read Christmas in Harmony during December, and I anticipate reading others in this series.  I will also venture into his non-fiction work.


I didn't write many blog posts inspired by the book - I find it harder to springboard off of fiction, but I have written one, and have also written about Gulley's visit to our church and about his blog. All of those posts can be found at this link.



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