Nathanial's Reviews > Gilead

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
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's review
Jan 10, 2012

bookshelves: fiction

There's an essay to be written here, about the intermingling of grace and violence, which Robinson depicts in the "drama that didn't want to happen." What fascinates me about this book is the extent to which the narrator resists the plot that unfolds; the voice that, at first, tells familiar stories to a new audiences, slowly comes to notice that a story is about to happen right in front of its eyes--and it's a story it doesn't want to see. The twist that comes, of course, shows us how the story isn't about what we (and the narrator) might have suspected it was going to be about...and, indeed, is a story that the narrator should have embraced, had he known from the start. However, the violence--of the truth coming to light in spite of reluctance--was crucial to the grace bestowed; if he had known what was going to happen, it wouldn't have happened.

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Richard A great novel! Also try the companion volume (not exactly a sequel) Home.

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