Friday, Dec. 17, 2004

Gilead By Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson waited more than two decades to write her second novel, a quiet, ruminative and intensely focused story about the aging preacher of a small Iowa town. The book takes the form of a letter written in 1956 by John Ames to his young son, the result of a late marriage. In telling of his own moral struggles, Ames reflects on those of his father and grandfather, both preachers themselves who served in the Civil War and came away changed in vastly different ways. There is humor and humanity in this book, but in its lapidary prose, there is nothing frivolous or wasted.