Deb's Reviews > Gilead

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Nov 01, 2010

it was amazing

This 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner is our library book group's selection for July. I have already heard from several readers that they could not finish it, and I will admit that for the about half the book, I couldn't read more than 10 pages at a time, but when it finally "took" for me, I loved it. Here's one more reason to dispense with the Nancy Pearl 50-page rule.

John Ames, an elderly minister, is dying,and writing a series of letters to his seven year old son (he married a younger woman late in life). He talks some about his faith. He talks some about his late marriage. He talks about the conflicts between his father and grandfather over abolitionism and pacifism. He mostly talks around the many years of loneliness and disappointment in his life.

Upseting Ames's hope for a peaceful end, Jack, the prodigal son of his neighbor and fellow minister Boughton, comes home for a visit. Ames dislikes and distrusts him, although for a long time he holds back the reason why. The central "story" in this book without much of one is Ames's finding room in his heart to forgive and pity this man he long despised.

The prose is graceful and unadorned. There is not much story. The book demands your concentration. I almost snoozed a few times in the beginning, but in the end, I cried, just for the love of this beautiful, fallible man, his wistfulness in leaving the beautiful world, and his ability to love human beings in all their imperfection.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Gilead.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.