Wednesday, 24 September 2008

TITLE: GILEAD AUTHOR: Marilynne Robinson DATE PUBLISHED: 2005 DATE READ: September 2008 NOTES: This book won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and came with reviews from some very notable people. It is written in the form of a letter from 76 year old Reverend John Ames to his young son. I found this structure a bit clumsy and unhelpful. While I agree that the language and tone are beautiful it is not a book that I enjoyed. Much of it is taken up with the narrator’s musings on religious doctrine and the meaning of grace, forgiveness etc. The story unwinds painfully slowly. The setting is the small town of Gilead and although we learn a little about some of the townsfolk no clear picture of the town emerges. On page 272 Ames says “I think I’ll put an end to all this writing” If only he had decided that 200 pages earlier!

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