The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

One of my favourite books of 2019, The Dearly Beloved is a beautifully written story about the complex relationship of two couples. Charles and Lilly and James and Nan have been brought together when the men are assigned as ministers of the Third Presbyterian Church in Greenwich, New York in 1963. The four individuals are from varied backgrounds well described by the author. As the reader, I was fully immersed into the lives of the characters as they experience the joy of new love, the isolation and despair of loss, and the sometimes difficult journey of introspection and enlightenment. The book challenges the reader to think about faith - what it personally means to each of us, and how to better ourselves as compassionate humans to care for one another.

The dynamic between the women in particular was intriguing. I appreciated the compassion the women provided to each other when most needed, as well as the insight and leadership provided to the ministers during times of turbulence in the congregation.

I very much appreciated the author’s writing style. It is poetic and thought-provoking: qualities that make the reader savour what is written and not to simply read for its entertainment value. The book is moving and memorable. I look forward to reading more of Cara Wall’s work.

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon Schuster for the ARC in exchange for the honest review provided here.

My rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5.

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