A Lesson in Hope

June 14th, 2016. Filed under: Tuesday's Tempting Reads.

A Lesson in Hope

By Philip Gulley

Sam Gardner has been pastor of Hope Friends Meeting for just four months when ninety-eight-year-old member Olive Charles passes away. What’s more shocking news is that Olive has left her entire estate–worth nearly one million dollars–to the meeting. At first the gift sounds to Sam like a like a godsend. Yet as word of the unexpected windfall spreads, it stirs up a storm of conflicting opinions amongst the church members as to how the money would best be used.

And before the estate is even released to the meeting, Olive’s estranged niece, Regina Charles, turns up tipsy and furious in Hope and threatens a lawsuit over what she believes is rightfully hers. Although it may be an opportune time to ask for a raise, Sam finds himself questioning his future in Hope while trying to guide his lively congregation and find a peaceful way to deal with Regina.


This former Hoosier loves Philip Gulley’s books about pastor Sam Gardner. These books make you smile while also making you think.

Sam has his hands full at his new pastorate in Hope. It was challenge enough before Olive Charles left a hefty bequest to the meeting. Now it’s stirred things up even more.

Is this job in Hope going to last much longer? There’s no returning to Harmony.

I was born and raised just down the road from Harmony. Then later I lived in Hope for a year. That makes these books even more special.

This is a good stand alone read, but it’s even better if you read the Harmony series and A Place called Hope first. I’m looking forward to A Gathering in Hope. I’m sure you will, as did I, enjoy Mr. Gulley’s Harmony series as well. Thank you, sir, for taking me back to my roots for a little while.

***A special thank you to Katie Connors of Hachette Book Group for providing a review copy.***


PHILIP GULLEY, a Quaker pastor, has become the voice of small-town American life. Along with writing Front Porch Tales, Hometown Tales, and For Everything a Season, he is the author of the Harmony series of novels. Gulley lives in Indiana with his wife, Joan, and their sons.

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