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Monday, March 02, 2009

Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead is a fine novel, a Christian novel. It is not a Christian novel in the sense that it was written and marketed to the (almost all woman) Christian fiction niche market. It is a Christian novel in the sense that there are Christian characters, and that the novel has a Christian world view. Gilead was published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, and won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It was written, and marketed, for the mainstream reader, and, of course, for Christians and other non-mainstream persons who choose to read it.

You can refer to the link at the beginning of this post for the Wikipedia article, which gives a plot summary, and more, about this book.

I want to say just a little about it.

Robinson's characters are mostly preachers. Believing preachers -- they believe in the supernatural power of God. Things often don't go the way they would want them too, however. In the end, Gilead is a story of redemption -- the main character, Ames, finally comes to understand and forgive the son of his best friend.

A quote:
Boughton says he has more ideas about heaven every day. He said, "Mainly I just think about the splendors of the world and multiply by two. I'd multiply by ten or twelve if I had the energy. But two is much more than sufficient for my purposes." (p. 147. Boughton is an old pastor who is a lifelong friend of Ames.)

The book is suffused with grace, and well written. I recommend it.


Julana said...

I picked a copy up at Goodwill a few weeks ago. It's on my list to read. Thank you for the review.

Martin LaBar said...

Thank you for the comment.