By James Stanley Barlow
AuthorHouse, $2.90, 332 pages, 3 stars
While reading James Stanley Barlow’s Pastor, one can almost hear the lilt of the storyteller in his cadence and word choice. The pace and easy, down-home style make this a very enjoyable read. Before the story begins, the author writes a disclaimer that everything in the book is fictitious, yet it reads like a memoir. The narrator relates incidents which occur at his first church. Some of the tales are tragic: a baby dying in her crib, a teenage girl thrown off a motorcycle and killed. Yet he leaves the reader with a sense that he is learning from the parishioners in grief more than in offering them comfort. The one criticism is that even though everything, including the tragedies, is addressed as lessons, there is little emotional connection to the events once they occur. Overall, Pastor is a pleasant read.
Reviewed by Mary-Lynne Monroe