The Glory Tent


Book: The Glory Tent

Author: William Edmund Barrett

Jacket Illustrator: Burt Silverman

Publisher: Queens House, republished 1977

ISBN-13: 978-0892440269 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0892440260 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0380006496 Paperback

ISBN-10:‎ 0380006499 Paperback

Language level: 3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Older teens and adults

Rating: **** 4 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: General fiction

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     Barrett, William Edmund.  The Glory Tent (Published in 1967 by Doubleday and Company, Garden City, NY).  Homer Smith, age 24, is a tall, young black man who took to the highway when he received his army discharge at Fort Lewis, WA.  He comes to Minerun, MO, where he sees signs announcing the one-week revival meeting with Wilbur Gillespie as evangelist and healer.  Nostalgia for his younger days makes Homer decide to stop, and he begins to participate in the set up by helping some boys put hymnals on the chairs.  But Gillespie has suddenly left the revival, and the woman in charge of the revival, Deborah Dallen, notices Homer and, after a conversation, talks him into replacing the preacher.  That night, a young white woman named Julia Kelvey, who is paralyzed and in a wheelchair, gets up and walks, claiming to have been healed.

     There is newspaper coverage of the event, and the next night a huge crowd appears.  In the hubbub that follows, Homer finds that he is attracted to Deborah. Has a miracle really occurred?  Can Homer overcome his doubts and continue with the revival?  And what happens between Homer and Deborah?  This is an odd little novellette dealing with faith, miracles, and realities. The phrase “To h*** with you!” is found once, and Homer smokes cigarettes.  Homer does get himself into a scrape, but his sense of honor makes him see a job through.  The book explores many aspects of revivals, personal relationships, healing, and ambitions.  Author William E. Barrett was a Catholic, but he has captured the Baptist evangelist tent revival method in The Glory Tent very well.  Homer Smith initially appeared in Lilies of the Field, which was made into a film. 

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