There are times when you finish with a book, but the book isn’t finished with you. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson is definitely one of those books.
On the one hand, it is a simple book. The notes of a dying man to his young son. And also the reflections of a man who has seen so much change in the world in his years. And also the tale of generations of pastors in a small time. And also a story of grace, forgiveness and the struggles we humans have with both.
Gilead is a quiet and gentle book. You could read a page and wonder why this book received so many honors and is so highly reviewed. But if you continue reading, you will see the quality of the writing and how the story is slowly spun over the chapters of the book.
Given my own life experience, I found the narrator’s position as pastor of the local church very interesting. A over-studious leader within his community, the narrator is well steeped in the Bible, but sometimes struggles with the day to day interactions of life.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it would be the last book on my 2011 list, but the pace would not be rushed and it makes a great start to my 2012 list.
I highly recommend this book and I’ll looking forward to reading more of Robinson’s books.