The story of Jayber Crow, a barber in a small New England town, and his lifelong love for a woman married to an unfaithful and unworthy man, is, in the inimitable Wendell Berry style, touching and beautiful. The descriptions of small-town life, the simple rhythms, salty morality and day-to-day absurd beauty of existence come across in Berry's trademark prose, as plain and transcendent as the world that he describes. Yet like any good Berry book, "Jayber Crow" is also a parable about faith and God's love in the world. The depth of Crow's love for young Maggie Chatham, in full knowledge that it will never be fulfilled in his life; his private "vow" of marriage to her, though she will never know that he has taken it; the steadfastness of his love for her, and the way that simply loving her transfigures his life--all these are truly metaphors for faith. "It was not a 'conversion' in the usual sense, as though I had been altogether out and now was altogether in. It was more as though I had been in a house and a storm had blown off the roof; I was more in the light than I had though." In showing that love and faith are made of the same belief in the impossible, Berry's latest book will satisfy his longtime fans and those just discovering him alike.
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