Melissa's Reviews > Gilead

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
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's review
Nov 20, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: constant-reader
Read in December, 2008

An unhurried and introspective character study laced with some beautiful writing. The story unfolds as a series of journal entries meant to be read by the narrator's young son at some unknown future place and time. I enjoyed the sense of a specific place and its changes over the decades. Following John Ames's anguish and joys as he looks back on his life and relationships made me think of my own. The main character is a preacher and a son of preachers, and much of the book involves spiritual musings and theological ponderings, along with memories of church life. My favorite passages offer descriptions of the light of sun or moon and the way water seems to symbolize life's essence and mystery.
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Quotes Melissa Liked

Marilynne Robinson
“In every important way we are such secrets from one another, and I do believe that there is a separate language in each of us, also a separate aesthetics and a separate jurisprudence. Every single one of us is a little civilization built on the ruins of any number of preceding civilizations, but with our own variant notions of what is beautiful and what is acceptable - which, I hasten to add, we generally do not satisfy and by which we struggle to live. We take fortuitous resemblances among us to be actual likeness, because those around us have also fallen heir to the same customs, trade in the same coin, acknowledge, more or less, the same notions of decency and sanity. But all that really just allows us to coexist with the inviolable, intraversable, and utterly vast spaces between us.”
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

Reading Progress

12/01/2008 page 3
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