Leaving North Haven:
The Further Adventures of A Small Town Pastor
Michael L. Lindvall
Crossroad, 256 pages, $16.95


In his fictional sequel to Good News from North Haven, a Presbyterian minister and Princeton Seminary graduate continues exploring the quirks and foibles of Minnesota's rural communities. Thankfully, Michael Lindvall refuses to scrub his characters squeaky-clean; instead, he portrays Minnesota's rural farmers and small-town churchgoers with their occasional profanities and quirks.

Many of the characters were introduced in the first book, but readers who start with this volume will find most of the necessary background provided. Lindvall occasionally overwrites, but he also knows how to turn a good phrase ("Another Christmas has just slipped from anticipation to memory, where they all lie jumbled together in a pile of sweet sentiment"). The author notes that his congregations have heard many of the book's essays before as Sunday sermons, and in places the origins are evident, but this won't keep these homespun stories from charming readers.


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