All St. Paul Reads 2022: Little Faith

News | February 17, 2022

All St. Paul Reads returns in-person for 2022 with Little Faith, the 2021 All Iowa Reads book selection, by Nickolas Butler.

Inspired by true events near Butler’s current home in Eau Claire, Wis., and by his family and in-laws as well as his own faith and religion, Little Faith draws you into the lives of Lyle and Peg Hovde. Lyle and Peg feel familiar, they are your friends, your neighbors, those you see at church each Sunday.

Little Faith, told through the eyes of 65-year-old Lyle, explores a sincere view of the relationship between young and old, father, daughter, and grandson, life and death, faith and doubt, in a way in which all ages can relate and empathize. Questions of faith are posed with both the simplicity of the main character and the complexity of the larger world around us.

In a Midwestern town, not too unlike our own, Lyle and his wife Peg live out their days in relative simplicity. Still living in the same town in which they were born, still attending the same church in which Lyle was baptized and married, and, he muses, in which his funeral will take place, they are surrounded by the comfort of the familiar. Lyle’s previously estranged daughter has returned, along with her five-year-old son, Isaac, to live with Lyle and Peg and her newfound involvement with an extremist church and a charismatic pastor causes disruption among the family and even threatens the safety of young Isaac.

Spread over one year, amidst the dynamically changing Midwestern seasons, Little Faith explores connection, community, family, and loss while posing deep, fundamental, and thought-provoking questions of faith and belief.

The events in the book, based on true events that occurred in 2008, lend themselves to a larger discussion surrounding the relationship between faith and science. St. Paul pastor Sara Olson-Smith and Chief Nursing Officer of Genesis Health System Joel Moore will serve as the presenters for the evening.

“The discussion with Sara and Joel will really center around how faith and prayer intersect with science and medicine,” Book Corner manager Karen Holden said. “Little Faith is so beautifully written. We are excited to be back in person this year for All St. Paul Reads. Little Faith evokes deep questions that will make the discussion with Sara and Joel so meaningful.”

All St. Paul Reads is an invitation for all to read and talk about a single book title in the same year. Little Faith is available for purchase for $12 in the St. Paul Book Corner. To help plan for dessert, please RSVP at Questions? Contact Karen Holden,

Leave a Comment