Just Shy of Harmony (A Harmony Novel)

Gulley, Philip

Published by HarperOne, 2002
ISBN 10: 0060006323 / ISBN 13: 9780060006327
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Master storyteller Philip Gulley returns to the winsome ways of Harmony, Indiana, the small Midwestern town that captured the hearts of readers in his acclaimed debut novel, Home to Harmony. Just Shy of Harmony follows the happenings of an eventful year spanning two Easters, in which Quaker pastor Sam Gardner and the members of his flock discover surprising answers to life's challenging mysteries.

Sam has an unexpected crisis of faith -- will he overcome it? Does the future of the church really lie with Pastor Jimmy of the Harmony Worship Center and sermons like "Ten Mutual Funds Jesus Would Die For"? Will Wayne Fleming resolve his conflicted love for the beautiful lawyer Deena Morrison, owner of The Legal Grounds Coffee Shop, where ten dollars buys you a cup of coffee and the answer to any two legal questions?

All the lovable Harmony characters are here, with all their homely charms. Readers will discover a secret illness, learn of a surprise lottery recipient, and laugh at the progress of Dale Hinshaw's ill-hatched Scripture-egg ministry. When Easter dawns, all will expect a miracle in Harmony.

Review: In Just Shy of Harmony, Philip Gulley's follow-up novel to Home to Harmony, the award-winning author again offers matchless slices of small-town life as he catches us up on the doings of the quirky characters that inhabit this small community. Beloved minister Sam Gardner slides into depression as his little Quaker church, which once had goals of spreading the gospel and ending world hunger, now juggles such lofty issues as what type of vanity table to put in the ladies' restroom and the progress of its chicken noodle sales. Gulley gently pokes fun at evangelical Christianity's foibles through his characterizations, including church member Dale Hinshaw's "Scripture egg project" (chickens lay eggs with Scripture in the yolks to reach the unsaved). There are poignant moments: Wayne Fleming's wife Sally has deserted him and his three kids, and now Wayne is in love with lawyer Deena Morrison, owner of the Legal Grounds Coffee Shop. When Sally returns home, Wayne must make the most difficult decision of his life. Reading one of Gulley's stories is as comfortable as sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch, listening to an old friend spin tales. This installment in the Harmony series is sure to win Gulley some new fans and please his loyal following. --Cindy Crosby

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Title: Just Shy of Harmony (A Harmony Novel)
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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