A Lesson in Hope: A Novel by Philip Gulley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is by far my favorite book of the Philip Gulley Harmony and Hope series. Sam Gardner is a jaded Quaker minister overseeing another dysfunctional congregation, Hope Friends Meeting. The church is thriving with twenty four members, doubling in size since Sam has taken on the ministry. Aged member Olive Charles passes away, leaving her estate in the hands of Hope Friends Meeting and every congregant seems to have a need or a use for the full million dollar inheritance along with Olive's house and Ford Granada. A wrench is thrown in all plans, when Olives drunken niece decides to sue the church for the entire amount. On top of that, Sam's parents have decided to move closer to the family and his brother is living in sin with a rival minister's daughter. Both of his boys are gone from home to college and the army, leaving Sam and his wife, Barbara, empty nesters. And Sam finds himself being propositioned by a lovely woman in a french braid.
This book was hilarious. Gulley is quite a humorist, but this book is much lighter than previous books and reminds me of a National Lampoon's Vacation story. I laughed out loud many times. In some of his previous books, especially in the Home to Harmony series, I felt that Gulley was presenting Sam as extremely jaded and almost depressed/depressing. Now he's just downright funny and has found some gumption in dealing with these crazy characters. I'm so happy that Gulley is back with this new series and am looking forward to his next one.
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