Jack tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the beloved, erratic, and grieved-over prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister in Gilead, Iowa. In segregated St. Louis sometime after ...more
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This is one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve read in a very long time.
“After years of days that were suffered and forgotten, no more memorable than any particular stone in his shoe, here, in a cemetery, in the middle of the night, he was caught off guard by the actual turn of events, something that mattered, a meeting that would empty his best thoughts of their pleasure . “
Jack Boughton, son of a minister, gone from his home in Gilead, Iowa, now in St. Louis, recently out of prison, for ...more
.....I loved the pure beauty of the gracefully written words....the feelings they stimulated in me.
Each sentence seemed to be fierce and affecting.
Spiritual, morally and emotionally complex ‘novels’ are exceptionally rare....
Marilynne Robinson is ‘exceptionally’ rare....
Her entire body-of-work is quietly powerful.
Reading, *Jack* [an affecting novel during the 1950’s], came at a perfect time...absolutely perfect! With all the racial upheaval happening in 2020...
and many American’s ...more
To begin with, the novel has made me realize that I wasn’t truly prepared to immerse myself into such an intense journey as the Gilead trilogy when I tackled it a couple of years ago.
I certainly liked the gracious writing back then, the dense, almost oppressive rhythm of the narration and the theological pondering that pulsated underneath the breath of each character, but I failed to grasp the vast understanding this writer possesse ...more
I tried, I really did, but it was off with its head at the halfway mark. It had all the good stuff—it’s well written and an excellent character study, with plenty of psychological insight. No waxing poetic about tree stumps and caterpillars, yay! And the main character is self-effacing, always a draw for me. The only interesting part is that it’s a love story between a white man (bum) and a black woman (teacher), and this takes place in the Midwest in the 1950s, where prej ...more
It is odd, what families do to their children—Faith, Hope, Grace, Glory, the names of his good, plain sisters like an ascending scale of spiritual attainment, a veritable anthem, culminating in, as they said sometimes, the least of these, Glory, who fretted at her own childishness, the hand-me-down, tag-along existence of the eighth of eight children. He himself, who aspired to harmlessness, was named for a man who was named for a man remembered, if he was, for antique...more
Jack is ever so troubled, seeing himself as less ...more
Maybe it was me, maybe it's the times we find ourselves in right now, but I could not enjoy it or find value in the story at all. It was told from Jack's point of view, and his head was not a pleasant place to be. Frankly, I found it oppressive ...more
Jack Boughton is the son of Gilead, Iowa’s Minister Boughton, named after John Ames, the preacher and narrator of Robinson’s Gilead. This fourth in Robinson’s connected volumes is his story, revealing much about Jack, and the woman he meets, and falls in love with. Della Miles – a teacher who is the daughter of an important black family in Memphis.
Jack is viewed by others as a good-for-nothing bum, indeed, he views himself a less-than. He is a man who has been to prison, a draft dodger during W ...more
“Gilead” is still my favorite in the saga. I continue to find that novel to be one of the most memorable to me. If one is to read any of her novels, “Gilead” is the one to ...more
In tone and setting, this novel is very much in keeping with he ...more
Edit: I am going to leave the original "review" up because it still encapsulates succinctly how I feel about Robinson's writing. Now, on to the actual review.
Jack's story was always going to be about grace and predestination. If I had to encapsulate Jack it would be using a quote from Gilead:
Love is holy because it is like grace--the worthiness of its object is never really what matters....more
The three novels were (as Rachel Sykes observes in this article http://ijas.iaas.ie/issue-6-rachel-sy...) more "simultaneous texts ...more
I’m a gifted thief. I lie fluently, often for no reason. I’m a bad but confirmed drunk. I have no talent for friendship. What talents I do have I make no use of. I am aware instantly and almost obsessively of anything fragile, with the thought that I must and will break it. This has been true of me my whole life. I isolate myself as a way of limiting the harm I can do. And here I am with a wife! Of whom I know more good than you have any hint of, to whom I could do a thousand kinds of harm, n...more
This book fits in with all the Gilead novels, which tell pieces of the same story from different perspectives. I was surprised when Lila came out and definitely didn't expect another one after that. Since a lot of people ask, you can read this as a st ...more
Those of us who have had the privilege of reading the other books know Jack, if only peripherally. He is the son of a preacher ...more
It is a gorgeous,profound novel written as a letter by an elderly preacher to his young son. The narrator, John Ames, is conflicted about his best friend's ne'er-do-well son, Jack. Jack has returned to Gilead to visit his ailing father. His presence is a torment to John Ames who fears his young wife will be drawn ...more
In the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement.
Now see I
That warmth’s the very stuff of poesy.
Oh, God, make small
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky,
That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie”.
The Embankment by T E Hulme
(The fantasia of a fallen gentleman on a cold, bitter night.)
So, here, at last, is Jack, referred to in the previous book, “Lila”, only as “except the one”; the one who is defined by being different from his family. Lik ...more
Maybe reading Jack right ...more
That question, braided with romance and religion, is at the heart of Marilynne Robinson’s new novel, “Jack.”
Since 2004 when she published “Gilead,” which won a Pulitzer Prize, Robinson has been exploring the lives of two families led by Protestant ministers in a fictional Iowa town. These thoughtful novels are not sequels in the traditional sense, but they’re part of the same chord; they depend upon one another for tone and resonance. “Jack,” the fourth Gilead ...more