Little faith A novel

Nickolas Butler

Book - 2019

"In this moving new novel from celebrated author Nickolas Butler, a Wisconsin family grapples with the power and limitations of faith when one of their own falls under the influence of a radical church."--

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Subjects
Genres
Domestic fiction
Psychological fiction
Published
New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2019]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
326 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780062469717
0062469711
9780062469724
006246972X
Main Author
Nickolas Butler (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Lyle Hovde has been looking forward to the peace and quiet of his golden years for a long time. He and his wife, Peg, appreciate the slow pace of life in rural Wisconsin, filling their days with well-worn routines and easygoing friendships. When their estranged daughter, Shiloh, comes back to town, they welcome her and her young son, Isaac, with open arms. Shiloh has caught the eye of a young, mercurial pastor and become involved with the radical church he leads, which bears no resemblance to the stoic and predictable services Lyle has attended for decades. When the pastor's extremist views put Isaac in danger, Lyle and Peg are forced to weigh their daughter's newfound faith and happiness against their grandson's well-being. Exploring the complexities of faith and family, Butler (The Hearts of Men, 2017) also tackles the power and pitfalls of devout Christianity. Fans of Richard Russo and Jan Karon will appreciate Butler's sense of place, which lets seasonal shifts and harvest cycles propel the novel forward. Little Faith is quietly and deeply moving. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Winning prizes and selling lots of books since the publication of the surprising Shotgun Lovesongs, Butler returns with another heartlands story. Lyle Hovde is happy that wayward daughter Shiloh has returned to their Wisconsin home with her six-year-old son, Isaac. Unfortunately, Shiloh has fallen under the sway of a radical church whose pastor sees Isaac as a healer, endangering Isaac's life. Drawn on real-life events; with a 50,000-copy first printing and a five-city tour. Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Lyle and Peg Hovde are a humble, salt-of-the-earth couple from rural Wisconsin who lost their son, Peter, when he was nine months old. This catastrophic event is still keenly felt decades later, when the action of this powerful novel begins. In the intervening years, they have adopted a young daughter, Shiloh, and raising her has proved extremely difficult. The willful and reckless Shiloh is now a mom herself and involved with an extremist church and its charismatic pastor. In the middle of it all is the vulnerable, innocent, five-year-old Isaac, Lyle and Peg's grandson, whom they adore. Shiloh has moved back home, but she is soon in bitter conflict with her parents, and the narrative traces the tragic arc of their discord. Butler (The Hearts of Men) skillfully handles the complicated—and heartbreaking—psychological and emotional complexities of this story, crafting a deeply moving novel about love, faith, and loss, and how the futures we imagine for ourselves as parents can be agonizingly different from the actual reality. Verdict A beautifully realized meditation on the nature of parenting and living in a perplexing (and often cruel) world. Enthusiastically recommended for parents and fans of literary fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 9/17/18.]—Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In Butler's breathtaking yet devastating novel (following The Hearts of Men), a family is ripped apart and nearly destroyed when one of its own gets involved with a radical church. Set in a gorgeously rendered rural Wisconsin, the story unfolds over the course of a year, as 65-year-old Lyle and his wife, Peg, grow increasingly uneasy as they watch their once estranged adopted daughter, Shiloh, fall under the influence of—and eventually get engaged to—Steven, a charlatan disguised as a devout pastor and founder of the cultlike Coulee Lands Covenant. Their worry intensifies when Steven convinces Shiloh that Isaac, her six-year-old son from a previous relationship, is a faith healer and he uses Isaac's "gift" to attract new parishioners and solicit donations for the church. At first, Lyle—who has grappled with the existence of God ever since his infant son died—tries to accept the situation so as not to alienate his daughter again. But when Isaac is diagnosed with diabetes, and the boys' parents choose prayer instead of giving him access to medical treatment, even after he slips into a coma, Lyle intervenes. Butler weaves questions surrounding faith, regret, and whether it's possible to love unconditionally into every page of this potent book. Secondary plots, including Lyle's friend Hoot's slow decline from cancer, Shiloh's adoption story, and Peg and Lyle's early courtship, are brief but equally resonant. This is storytelling at its finest. (Mar.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A Wisconsin family grapples with the power and limitations of faith when an adult daughter falls under the influence of a radical church that threatens a grandchild's safety. By the best-selling author of Shotgun Lovesongs. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A Wisconsin family grapples with the power and limitations of faith when their adult daughter falls under the influence of a radical church that threatens their six-year-old grandson's safety.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"In this moving new novel from celebrated author Nickolas Butler, a Wisconsin family grapples with the power and limitations of faith when one of their own falls under the influence of a radical church."--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In this moving new novel from celebrated author Nickolas Butler, a Wisconsin family grapples with the power and limitations of faith when one of their own falls under the influence of a radical church  Lyle Hovde is at the onset of his golden years, living a mostly content life in rural Wisconsin with his wife, Peg, daughter, Shiloh, and six-year old grandson, Isaac. After a troubled adolescence and subsequent estrangement from her parents, Shiloh has finally come home. But while Lyle is thrilled to have his whole family reunited, he's also uneasy: in Shiloh's absence, she has become deeply involved with an extremist church, and the devout pastor courting her is convinced Isaac has the spiritual ability to heal the sick. While reckoning with his own faith'or lack thereof'Lyle soon finds himself torn between his unease about the church and his desire to keep his daughter and grandson in his life. But when the church's radical belief system threatens Isaac's safety, Lyle is forced to make a decision from which the family may not recover.  Set over the course of one year and beautifully evoking the change of seasons, Little Faith is a powerful and deeply affecting intergenerational novel about family and community, the ways in which belief is both formed and shaken, and the lengths we go to protect our own.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

In this moving new novel from celebrated author Nickolas Butler, a Wisconsin family grapples with the power and limitations of faith when one of their own falls under the influence of a radical church  Lyle Hovde is at the onset of his golden years, living a mostly content life in rural Wisconsin with his wife, Peg, daughter, Shiloh, and six-year old grandson, Isaac. After a troubled adolescence and subsequent estrangement from her parents, Shiloh has finally come home. But while Lyle is thrilled to have his whole family reunited, he’s also uneasy: in Shiloh’s absence, she has become deeply involved with an extremist church, and the devout pastor courting her is convinced Isaac has the spiritual ability to heal the sick. While reckoning with his own faith—or lack thereof—Lyle soon finds himself torn between his unease about the church and his desire to keep his daughter and grandson in his life. But when the church’s radical belief system threatens Isaac’s safety, Lyle is forced to make a decision from which the family may not recover.  Set over the course of one year and beautifully evoking the change of seasons, Little Faith is a powerful and deeply affecting intergenerational novel about family and community, the ways in which belief is both formed and shaken, and the lengths we go to protect our own.