Tuesday, August 30, 2011
After last week's post on What is Quakerism? my friend Barb Ross asked if I had a list of recommended fiction featuring Friends. Since Speaking of Murder isn't published yet (although it will be, never fear), here's my list.
I have read two authors, who I indeed recommend, and also dug up a couple of others, plus a movie.
Irene Allen wrote a classically cozy mystery series set in Cambridge, Massachusetts: Quaker Silence, Quaker Testimony, Quaker Witness, and Quaker Indictment. The protagonist is an older woman who is Clerk of the Meeting, Elizabeth Elliot. In her quiet Quakerly way, she solves the murder in each book. I enjoyed these books greatly, but be forewarned that they are not thrillers.
I Take Thee, Serenity, by Daisy Newman, tells the story of two young people as they prepare for marriage as Friends. It's a sweet tale, although not a mystery, and if you have never experienced a Quaker wedding, this book gives you an authentic portrayal. Newman has several other titles out that feature Friends, as well.
Phillip Gulley is an author who sets his series about Quakers in a fictional Indiana village called Harmony. The latest book is Almost Friends, with a protagonist who is a Quaker pastor. I think these are also not mysteries.
Quaker Summer is a book by Lisa Samson. I loved the description I found: "Heather Curridge is coming unhinged. And people are starting to notice. What's wrong with a woman who has everything--a mansion on a lake, a loving son, a heart-surgeon husband--yet still feels miserable inside? When Heather spends the summer with two ancient Quaker sisters and a crusty nun running a downtown homeless shelter, she finds herself at a crossroads."
Finally, I found author Chuck Fager, who has published Murder Among Friends, Un-Friendly Persuasion, and others. Fager is a long-time Quaker activist who has also written non-fiction about the civil rights movement. I plan to put his mysteries on my reading list.
A great movie about Quakers is "Amazing Grace," which describes William Wilberforce's efforts to abolish slavery in England.
Let me know if you know of others and I'll add them here.