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Fidelity Berry richly evokes Port William s farmlands and hamlets and his characters are fiercely individual yet mutually protective in everything they do His sentences are exquisitely constructed suggestin

  • Title: Fidelity
  • Author: Wendell Berry
  • ISBN: 9780679748311
  • Page: 341
  • Format: Paperback
  • Berry richly evokes Port William s farmlands and hamlets, and his characters are fiercely individual, yet mutually protective in everything they do His sentences are exquisitely constructed, suggesting the cyclic rhythms of his agrarian world New York Times Book Review.

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    1 thought on “Fidelity

    1. About a year ago, I was introduced to Wendell Berry who became one of my most beloved authors. I read three of his books (Jayber Crow, Hannah Coulter, A Place In Time) in a space of three months. Berry writes with a distinctive quietness, a hallowed respect for nature, and an invitation to connectedness. “Fidelity” takes me back to Port William, the rural Kentucky town. There I am restored to the company and comfort of old friends. This is my fourth visit. Published in 1993, this 200-page bo [...]

    2. "A Jonquil for Mary" -- captured that moment when a young wife realizes her husband truly loves her, truly sees her -- I loved that story's ending. All five stories in this too small collection show Berry's gift of painting the ordinary lives of people with compassion and fullness -- "Making it Home" was another favorite -- oh they are all worth reading more than once.

    3. Oh my. The first story in this collection “Pray Without Ceasing” has made me a Berry fan for life. Thus far I had only read Hannah Coulter and was mildly impressed. But for readers who appreciate the long story and novella form, this story is a must read. The set up of theme and how it spun itself out was absolutely stunning. In this story, Andy Catlett’s grandmother tells him how his great-grandfather, Ben Feltner, was murdered in 1912 by his friend Thad Coulter. (If you have read any of [...]

    4. I'm fairly new to the "Port William Membership." I've read enough to know the primary actors and a few of their stories. Still, these five short short tales that serve to fill in gaps left in Berry's novels can easily stand alone. They have, if I'm not playing too loose with words, enlarged my soul and enriched my mind. Berry continually explores the life and death cycle--its joys and griefs, its momentary losses and permanent gains. He traces the inter-generational connectedness that we share w [...]

    5. Have you ever read a book only to envy the author's talent? If only I could be as wonderful a writer as Wendell Berry. The simplicity of his words evoke beautiful images of both scenery and inner beauty of the people he writes about. The five stories in this book are all set near Port William, a fictional town in the farmland of Kentucky. The characters are all connected in some way, just as in real small town life. The faithfulness of the characters are examined in each story; faithfulness to a [...]

    6. I've come back to these stories with renewed gratitude and deep admiration many times. They offer a valuable example of what it means to bring together love of language, love of land, and the practical, kindly understanding of people one has come to love over years of involvement in each other's lives. I read them again recently with a group of very well-read adults, none of whom, to my surprise, had encountered them before. It was a great pleasure to rediscover with them the people of Port Will [...]

    7. I decided to give this book as a Christmas present to all my brothers and sisters this year . . . because it touched me. It contains five short stories, beautifully written, by Wendell Berry, “an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer,” according to his article. All five stories are set in a fictional small-town/rural Kentucky community.The title story in the book—the fourth story in the book—is by far the longest. But I found it profoundly thought-p [...]

    8. Fidelity is set in the fictional town of Port William, Kentucky, a place so compellingly simple in its friendships and family ties and its connection to the earth and how it sustains us. Each one of these five stories explores another aspect of this comforting world, wrapping the reader in its gentle embrace. If you are looking for stories of love, loyalty and the value of hard work, look no further than this collection by Wendell Berry

    9. Five stories in true Wendell Berry fashion - the kind of writing you want to just float around in, enjoying every poetic moment in the woodsy world he lives in. Phrases that stick with you, such as "Her face, it seemed, had been made to smile. It was a face that assented wholly to the being of whatever and whomever she looked at."One of the five stories, "Fidelity" (written in 1993) centers on the efforts of an ailing 82-year old's family to help him get better. Instead, the old man is rushed fr [...]

    10. I wish I knew how to link reviews. My friend, Laysee, writes exactly how I feel about this collection of short stories. Long a fan of Wendell Berry, this book reunited me with people whom I have come to know, love and admire. I think my reading may have been enhanced by already knowing some of the backstories of the characters. However, each story has its own merit.This was my second reading of the collection. It was selected in a book group and the discussion was interesting. People loved Berr [...]

    11. It was originally here that I heard about Wendell Berry, and then I read this about him and wanted to just read everything by him. He's written so much, so I'll spend a lifetime trying to get my hands on all of it, which is a great problem to have. These five stories are all poignant and unique and paint beautiful pictures of his characters that are unlike any others. This was a great read for a breezy summer evening in my hammock between two big trees with a cider in hand.

    12. Berry renews one's faith in straightforward storytelling. He has peopled his mythical Kentucky county with characters who have a strong connection to the land and to each other. Wonderful dialogue and wry sense of mountain humor. The story of the soldier returning home and the title story of a son who takes his dying father out of a city hospital stand out.

    13. "Pray without ceasing" the first of his 5 short stories had me weeping on the back deck while I read it. I haven't cried that hard in years. I am a child of forgiveness . . . wow. Absolutely a stunning story.Some of the others were very good but none were as moving as the first. I enjoyed "Fidelity" a lot because I got to see the end of Burley Coulter's life.

    14. Five of Wendell Berry's short stories collected together in one place. "A Jonquil for Mary Penn" in my mind is one of the most beautiful stories in the English language. I've never read anyone who can make a sad story sing the way Mr. Berry does. If you have never read any of Wendell Berry, this is as good a place as any to begin.

    15. Are you alright? Is a story about two guys walking through the woods to yell across a flooded river. The subject was alright. If that sounds interesting you might like this book too. (Nothing explodes)

    16. I really like the peaceful country setting, older time, and familiar small town relationships this book was set in.

    17. I've long admired Wendell Berry's poetry, though I've spent limited time reading his prose and short stories. I'm also familiar with his writings on the agrarian lifestyle and his role as a prophet for the slow food/ locavore movement. This book was recommended to me by someone whom I was interviewing for a residency position and I'm delighted that he pointed me to it.All of these short stories are based in and around Port William and the characters are woven from one story to another. While the [...]

    18. The five stories in this collection were my introduction to Wendell Berry's fiction; I'd only read his poetry and essays before. It was a good introduction. The mood Berry creates is mesmerizing. I am drawn into a simpler time and place. Not sinless, by any means, but simpler. Port William, the setting of these stories, is a place where people still care for one another without irony or cynicism. People are tied to each other and to this place they call home, seemingly free of the mobile, fractu [...]

    19. Five stories that take place in a rural Kentucky farming community with interconnected people, and seem a little simple and maybe ho-hum at first. I found that I kept thinking about the larger themes and ideas the author brought up. I related particularly to "A Jonquil for Mary Penn". Berry has a poets' ability to use sparse language to convey large ideas. A short, quick read that stays with you.

    20. Wendell Berry is amazing at seamlessly connecting the past and the present. I'm extremely attached to his characters, including the land of Kentucky, which is basically an ever present character in all of his books. This is a good one to start with.

    21. I rarely give a book 5 stars, but I cannot find any weaknesses in Wendell Berry's writing or storytelling. Another great collection of short stories about the Port William membership, exploring themes of life and love, death and devotion, and what it means to truly belong to a place and people.

    22. Despite what the title is, Fidelity and its five short stories is not about marriage. But in a sense, it is: the members of Port William are loyal and faithful to each other, helping one another in simple or dire circumstances. Love the sense of community and family in this small Kentucky town.

    23. Berry reminds us that place, particulars, heritage, landscape, land, and nature matter more than the homogenized, universalized, spatialized, meaningless, and deconstructed reality of modernity. We all long for Berry's Port William. This collection of short stories will beckon you to it.

    24. This is one of my all time favorite reads. I've given this book away so many times, I can't count them. I have my copy, well-thumbed, an old friend that I can pick up anytime to reacquaint with favorite characters and the easy, sweet rhythms of Berry gentle writing.

    25. A meditation on decency. You have great compassion, even for the bad guys when you read Wedell Barry. These are stories about people and community, not about plots designed to manipulate a reader. Read it and be glad you did.

    26. another fabulous book by one of the most humane naturalist novelists you'll ever read. slow-moving, meditative considerations of simple but profound events in the lives of a pastoral community. beautifully written.

    27. I'm pretty sure every sentence Wendell Berry writes is just a thing of exquisite beauty. I kind of want to read everything he's ever written now, after coming across two such gorgeous pieces of work.

    28. WowI had forgotten how much I loved Berry's writing. THIS is a man who can wrench every emotion out of a short story with mere words. Incredible.

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