God and literary fiction   don’t always get along   nowadays: Religious beliefs get pushed to the background as fact of life rather than core of being. Extremism gets outsize focus. Cynicism rules the day. Perhaps that’s why  The Dearly Beloved  feels so galvanizing. In the vein of the great   Marilynne Robinson  , Wall compassionately tackles theological matters; she pays close attention to how her devout (and not-so-devout) characters think, how they feel. They’re rendered with distinctive detail: They make mistakes, contend with their flaws, seek redemption.  https://ew.com/book-reviews/2019/08/06/the-dearly-beloved-review-cara-wall/

God and literary fiction don’t always get along nowadays: Religious beliefs get pushed to the background as fact of life rather than core of being. Extremism gets outsize focus. Cynicism rules the day. Perhaps that’s why The Dearly Beloved feels so galvanizing. In the vein of the great Marilynne Robinson, Wall compassionately tackles theological matters; she pays close attention to how her devout (and not-so-devout) characters think, how they feel. They’re rendered with distinctive detail: They make mistakes, contend with their flaws, seek redemption. https://ew.com/book-reviews/2019/08/06/the-dearly-beloved-review-cara-wall/

Vogue :  What  Vogue  Editors Are Reading on the Beach This Year  https://www.vogue.com/article/the-best-books-for-summer

Vogue: What Vogue Editors Are Reading on the Beach This Year https://www.vogue.com/article/the-best-books-for-summer

Kirkus starred review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/cara-wall/the-dearly-beloved/

Kirkus starred review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/cara-wall/the-dearly-beloved/

Reviews

“This wonderful book has all the things that are hardest to find in literature: good marriages sustained by abiding love; nourishing friendships that endure trials; nuanced explorations of religious faith; and characters who strive to do good for others while battling their own demons. What it has, in short, is that hardest-won of qualities in a novel: genuine goodness. None of the extraordinary humanity in this book feels unearned; it’s as if Wall has stared into the abyss of real life and come out with energy, hope, and a story suffused in light. We say of books that they are unputdownable; this is a book that you have to put down for a spell in order to take in all the generosity it offers; a book in which it is impossible not to wonder what comes next in these four intertwined and gorgeously observed lives.”—MATTHEW THOMAS, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves 

“When I began reading The Dearly Beloved I braced for piety, worried it might be a book only a believer could appreciate. Instead, I found myself carried along by Cara Wall’s luminous prose, and then by these characters and their stories. I saw myself in their doubts, in their hopes. An expansive narrative that draws in fifty years and two marriages, this is a novel to settle in with, to read slowly. It asks the biggest question: where can each of us find meaning in this life? There is no moralizing here, only empathy. When I arrived at the end I felt absolutely lifted by the spirit of the story.”—MARY BETH KEANE, author of Ask Again, Yes 

“Oh, how I wish Laurie Colwin were here to read this book! I think she’d have loved it, as I love it—it feels like an homage to the New York she wrote about with such compassionate devotion. Cara Wall brings the gigantic, beloved city to such vivid life here—as the vibrant and knotty small town New York can become for those making their lives in it, day to day. I am not a Christian—not a religious person in any way—yet the explorations of faith in The Dearly Beloved speak to me on levels of extraordinary emotional depth, and with gut-wrenching meaning. These characters struggle with faith in a world from which God so often seems absent, but their trials are so real, their yearnings so palpable, that every one strikes me with truly profound resonance. I relished the world of this book and its characters: people trying to figure out how to get along as people, struggling to be good in a world where being a person—let alone a good one!—is the task of our lives. But they’re trying, as best they can. And failing. And trying again. Cara Wall lets us travel these very human characters’ paths alongside them, lets us see how they make their ways, and helps us figure out how to make our own. I will cherish this book for a long, long time.”—THISBE NISSEN, author of Our Lady of the Prairie, Osprey Island, and The Good People of New York


INTERVIEWS

Cara Wall: Finding Faith in Friendship | Shelf Awareness

Tell us about your inspiration for The Dearly Beloved. My parents arrived in Greenwich Village in 1965. My father got an advanced law degree at NYU, and my mother got a job as receptionist at First Presbyterian Church. They have been members there for 55 years. First Presbyterian was the cornerstone of my childhood. All my parents' friends were members of the church--which can sound uptight, but Greenwich Village in the 1970s was full of singers and artists and NYU professors. My parents went to church parties every weekend--I was famous, as a toddler, for falling fast asleep beneath whatever coffee table they put me under. Church was not exactly "religious" for me. It was my community, my playground, my second home. read more…

Cara Wall's New Book Keeps the Faith / Publisher’s Weekly

“Just reading the opening, I knew I was in the hands of someone who had thought long and hard about marriage, friendships, and faith,” Rucci says. “I saw the wisdom on the first page. The story spans all ages, genders, beliefs, sexual orientations.” She sent it around in-house to ecstatic response, and the quotes she received populate the galley. “I want to show the universal appeal of Dearly Beloved,” she adds, noting also that the themes resonated with her personally. “What is faith, and how do you hold on to it?” Rucci asks. “Not just faith in God but faith in humanity.” read more…