The Gown of Glory is a quaint, gentle novel, ideally suited to an afternoon when your cold is a little better but not all gone yet.
David and Mary Lyall came to the small village of Ladykirk planning to stay at most five years—just long enough for the world to see what a wonderful choice David would be to pastor a big city congregation. Twenty-five years and three children later, they are still in Ladykirk, still hoping for better things to come.
The Lyalls have good sense, kind hearts, abundant humor, and enough faults to be believable. Their world may be provincial, but its crises are none the less real: envy is envy, whether its object is a millionaire’s wealth or an evangelist’s converts.
Surely there’s no funnier scene in religious fiction than when Mary realizes she’s given all her savings for a much-wanted kitchen cabinet to a visiting missionary and sobs, “I hate the heathen. I want my cabinet.”
The Gown of Glory is not great literature, but it’s a durable novel that will make you smile, perhaps shed a tear, and maybe even decide to go to church next Sunday.The Gown of Glory Agnes Sligh Turnbull Houghton Mifflin, 1952 284 pages 1952 Bestseller # 8 My grade: B
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