Gilead

Gilead 1

by Marilynne Robinson

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 16/02/2006

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In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, a kind of last testament to his remarkable forebears.

'It is a book of such meditative calm, such spiritual intensity that is seems miraculous that her silence was only for 23 years; such measure of wisdom is the fruit of a lifetime. Robinson's prose, aligned with the sublime simplicity of the language of the bible, is nothing short of a benediction. You might not share its faith, but it is difficult not to be awed moved and ultimately humbled by the spiritual effulgence that lights up the novel from within' - Neel Mukherjee, The Times

'Writing of this quality, with an authority as unforced as the perfect pitch in music, is rare and carries with it a sense almost of danger - that at any moment, it might all go wrong. In Gilead, however, nothing goes wrong' - Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph

Featured in our collection - 21 Must-Read American Novels

ISBN:
9781844081486
9781844081486
Category:
Contemporary fiction
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
16-02-2006
Publisher:
Little, Brown Book Group
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
288
Dimensions (mm):
196x127x20mm
Weight:
0.23kg
Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson was born in 1947.

Her first novel, Housekeeping (1981) received the PEN/Hemingway award for best first novel as well as being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Gilead won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and Home won the Orange Prize. She lives in Iowa.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • uplifting

    by on

    Gilead is the second novel by American author Marilynne Robinson. It is 1956, in Gilead, Iowa, and John Ames, a seventy-six year-old preacher with heart failure, is writing a letter to his young son. After losing his first wife and daughter in childbirth, he has spent almost fifty years tending his flock, more than forty of them alone, before falling in love with Lila, thirty-five years his junior, and fathering a son. Knowing he will not see him grow up, he tries to tell his son the things he will need to know in life. He tells of the relationship he had with his father and grandfather, also preachers, and of the parting in anger, never reconciled, of his father and grandfather. As he writes, his anxieties for his wife and sons future security are voiced. When his godson and namesake John Ames Boughton (Jake), the prodigal son of his closest friend, returns to Gilead, he also worries about what danger his young family may face from this irresponsible man. Robinson skilfully and slowly builds this story that is occasionally more like a diary or stream of consciousness than a letter. The patient reader is rewarded with a beautiful ending that is bound to bring a tear to the eye. It is no surprise that this novel is the Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Orange Prize for Fiction. I look forward to Home which tells the associated story of the Boughtons. Uplifting.