Genre: General fiction
Publisher, Year: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2004
Other Works: Housekeeping
Flags: Teen angst
Rating: A+ or Must Read Now!
Challenge: Book Awards III, Countdown
Premise: A loyal preacher comes to the end of his life and writes a journal for his young son to have as a legacy after he's gone.
I’d heard about Marilynne Robinson’s first book Housekeeping from the Books on the Nightstand podcast and became interested in her. So, when I signed up for the Book Awards Challenge, I decided to make Gilead one of my picks. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish on time, but better late than never! I find it fitting that the last book was the one I enjoyed the most.
Gilead is written as a journal from the perspective of Reverend John Ames. John has a heart condition and know he won’t live long. He married late in life, and so has a young son, about six or seven. And so, he wants to leave his son something of himself behind. Throughout the book, John chronicles the lives of his grandfather and father (who were also preachers), a difficult relationship with his best friend’s son (who was named after him), and his own sad first marriage, where his wife and daughter both passed away in childbirth. Set in Iowa, Robinson takes the reader through several generations of small town life in a turbulent world. +/-