Sunday, October 7, 2007

Marilynne Robinson 'Gilead'

This book won a Pulitzer Prize so I'm well aware that I'm not going to be able to say anything more profound about it than what has already been said. But maybe by putting it here, I can at least bring it to more people's attention (yeah, the three people reading this blog :).

John Ames is a Congregationalist minister whose heart is giving out. Late in life he married and now has a seven year old son, so he sits down to write a farewell letter to him. I will say that it's slow reading with little plot. But as you read you are transported to a slower, more thoughtful place where you begin to notice the sun shining in the window and the motes floating through the air and to appreciate the small things we usually pass right by.

John Ames is an amazingly forgiving, loving, minister. He is mesmerized by the beauty of existence and presents the foibles of the people around him through a window of quiet common sense.

In the end you realize you've thought about some very important human issues, slowed your own frantic rush through life and spent time with a truly holy man. It's a story and character that stays with you for a long time. Lovely. Really lovely.


Anonymous said...

At last! A book I can take out and read on the subway... Actually, I've read it and enjoyed it thoroughly too. It was a long wait after Housekeeping came out (in the '80s?) Kisses to you on your birthday!

Heloise said...

Okay I know there are a lot of Jenny's in the world but I think I would have known my best friend without the Brooklyn part. :)

So now I know you are lurking. :) Would I like Housekeeping if I liked this one?

37, only ten short of 47, Yay! Do you feel terribly young?