Monday, February 09, 2009

Gilead - Marilynne Robinson

Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 282
Format : Fiction, Novel
Reason for Reading : Book Awards Reading Challenge II

In 1956 seventy six year old Reverend John Ames begins writing a journal to his young son who is not yet seven. His first wife died in childbirth and his daughter very shortly after and he does not fall in love again and remarry until he is in his late sixties. ONe of his biggest regrets is not being able to get to know his son before he dies and he has been diagnosed with a heart condition

Life changes when fellow minister and close friend Boughton's black sheep son and John's namesake comes back into town. There was a scandal when the he was a young man and he left somewhat in disgrace. John is torn between warning his family about young Boughton as he is worried he will take his place at the head of his family after he dies. As both stories unfold you learn John's reasons for being fearful as he compares their two lives and what could have been if young Boughton had been his own son.

This is a slow novel that really captivates the reader. Very descriptive and beautiful and I got really into it the mre I read and was unable to put it down. It's hard to put down my thoughts even though I finished this a week ago, it's such a hard novel to pin down. It is definitely one that will linger in my mind for a long time to come.


raidergirl3 said...

I'm glad you liked it so much. I knew that it would appeal to some readers, it just wasn't me. You summarized it very well, and give a lovely picture of the book.

Interestingly, I'm reading another 'look back on the family history' book, but I think I'm going to like it a lot more. I'll have to figure out what he difference is.

Marg said...

It is interesting how this book gets different reactions with different readers.

I am with Raidergirl3 on this one.

Ana S. said...

First Nick Hornby, now you...I'm really looking forward to reading this. It sounds completely different from the things I normally read, but I think I'll enjoy it.

Literary Feline said...

I've been on the fence about this one for awhile now. One minute I'm sure I want to read it and then the next, I'm not sure again. I probably will give it a try, especially after hearing you enjoyed it. Thanks for the great review!

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm impressed! It sounds very good!!!