This light volume with its bookishly aromatic pages arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. My sister had picked it up for reading over vacation. "Jim and I thought Joel would get a kick out of it." said the card that accompanied the package. A neon yellow post-it note marked the beginning of the chapter Laura suggested he read. Gravity pressed against my weary eyelids that evening, but I fought back as well as I could as I lay in bed. Agnes Turnbull’s description of the small town revival meetings sounded familiar. There was something of the play Our Town, a hint of a black & white movie on the Scopes Monkey Trial, and a bit of another video we had borrowed from the library a year or so ago. In addition to the connection to these works of fiction, an unfortunately humorous realization that parts of the descriptions were close to my own experiences kept me reading.
Gown of Glory is the story of David Lyall, a presbyterian minister. It spans 25 years in the small town of Ladykirk. David questions his duties in relationship to church discipline and town involvement. The story also shows his struggle to be a good husband and to be a wise father to his maturing children.
Weakness in the characters is obvious, but like the friendly minister, the author does not condemn the townsfolk. The people are shown "mercy" and left to rot in comfort.
Gown of Glory
Agnes Sligh Turnbull