Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2005
National Book Critics Circle Award, Fiction, 2005In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He "preached men into the Civil War", then, at age 50, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle. Reverend Ames writes to his son about the tension between his father, an ardent pacifist, and his grandfather, whose pistol and bloody shirts, concealed in an army blanket, may be relics from the fight between the abolitionists and those settlers who wanted to vote Kansas into the union as a slave state. And he tells a story of the sacred bonds between fathers and sons, which are tested in his tender and strained relationship with his namesake, John Ames Boughton, his best friend's wayward son.
This is also the tale of another remarkable vision, not a corporeal vision of God but the vision of life as a wondrously strange creation. It tells how wisdom was forged in Ames's soul during his solitary life, and how history lives through generations, pervasively present even when betrayed and forgotten.
Gilead is the long-hoped-for second novel by one of our finest writers, a hymn of praise and lamentation to the God-haunted existence that Reverend Ames loves passionately, and from which he will soon part.
©2004 Marilynne Robinson; (P)2005 BBC Audiobooks America, Published by Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"Gilead is a beautiful work: demanding, grave, and lucid...Robinson's words have a spiritual force that's very rare in contemporary fiction." (The New York Times Book Review)
"The long wait has been worth it....Robinson's prose is beautiful, shimmering, and precise....Destined to become her second classic." (Publishers Weekly)
"[Gilead] is so serenely beautiful, and written in a prose so gravely measured and thoughtful, that one feels touched with grace just to read it." (The Washington Post Book World)
A masterful work of American literature, this Midwestern novel floored me. I was deeply moved by the perspective of Reverend John Ames, and driven to seek more honesty and authenticity in my own life because of his example. And faith. He has a beautiful faith
I enjoy listenint to audiobooks most of the time
yes, I already have been listening or going back to bookmarks.
I am not sure but I would say that it makes me think. I have thught about why I like itl I loved "Our Town" vy Thorton Wilder and it is sort of about "our tw]own. I just finished "Team of Rivals" and thereefinitely a a contemporary history. I looked up The Dred Scot Decision and the Missouri Compromise, Bleeding Kansas and John Brown to review exactly what they were about. incidently Dred Scott is buried in St Louis MO if yu are interested.
I am not done with it yet. Right now I really aant to know what was the problem at the Bowden's. (sp). I cannot see to read so I am relying only on the audi. I learned how to bookmark so that I can go back and listen.
The quote I really like right now is "I think that our punishment after we die is to look back at how we liked at ourselves or something to that effect.
I am 76 as well so I can relate to the things he says about getting old
Not yet. but maybe it will
I am loving it and I am looking forward to reading the s sequels. I have already recommended.
I got the book because I am taking a class in October called liter Lions and this author is one of the Literary Lions that we are delving into.
I loved the metaphors and I wondered How anyone can write so well. I t a wonderful book to listen. to.
I think it will be a classic\
Please excur my spelling. I can't seeit to check right now and know not to end a sentence with a preposition.
I like a book that has an ending. One that lets me know what happens to the characters That I have spent the entirety of the book acquainting myself with. This one left me wondering. Not my style without happy ending. Good twist though.
I had a hard time getting invested in this book but am so glad I hung in there. The story of a conscientious minister in his late 70s with a heart condition writing down thoughts for his young son to read later. His search for insight, meaning and the resolution of a painful relationship are very touching.
I love theology. I love spiritual autobiography. I love memoirs. I didn't like this book. I don't understand why so many people do. Perhaps it was the terribly old fashioned delivery of the narrator? I can't figure it out....... In all fairness, I did finish the audiobook, expecting some good twist of insight, but none came. So disappointing......
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