Gilead, Marilynne Robinson, 247 pages, 2006
I was recently on our Reader's Advisory database and found Gilead on a list of recent Pulitzer Prize winners. I read a whole lot, and for a time did not read as much fiction as I once did. I have been actively making an effort to read more fiction in the hope that I find a creative work that will stay with me, a work I will want to re-visit in the future.
I have tried to come up with how I am to describe this book- and it is difficult because this is the type of book that is akin to having my first few sips of coffee in the morning. (i.e. sublime) The narrative is simple: John Ames is an aging pastor who writes a letter to his seven year old son, who he knows he will never see grow up completely. His letter attempts to tell him everything he should know about himself and his thoughts of the world, and advice for living. Robinson's prose is some of the best I have read in quite ahwhile. This is a book that I savored the entire way through, much as I have done when reading writers like Capote or McCullers. Although there is a religious slant to the book, the reader need not be a believer to enjoy. I have put her first book, Housekeeping on hold, and plan to read the companion novel Home soon after. Rich, affective, humorus, and worth the time.