Gilead
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Gilead : Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

3.85 (72,711 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION and THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

In 1956, towards the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son: 'I told you last night that I might be gone sometime . . . You reached up and put your fingers on my lips and gave me that look I never in my life saw on any other face besides your mother's. It's a kind of furious pride, very passionate and stern. I'm always a little surprised to find my eyebrows unsinged after I've suffered one of those looks. I will miss them.'

'A visionary work of dazzling originality' ROBERT MCCRUM, OBSERVER

'Writing of this quality, with an authority as unforced as the perfect pitch in music, is rare and carries with it a sense almost of danger' JANE SHILLING, DAILY TELEGRAPH

'A beautiful novel: wise, tender and perfectly measured' SARAH WATERS

'A masterpiece' SUNDAY TIMES
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 127 x 196 x 20mm | 230g
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Repr.
  • 0
  • 1844081486
  • 9781844081486
  • 600

Review Text

...a country of mystical sunsets, abandoned shacks, storms that could have come out of the book of Job, snowstorms that that can take your life within a few feet of your own front door, and wild rivers in which one can be baptized. I said Marilynne Robinson's prose was like clear, cold water and so it is - and sometimes it is about water too - you are never far from its cleansing, chilly power, or from the mysterious rush of the wind, sounding like the ocean in a region impossibly far from any sea. Peter Hitchens Mail Online
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Review quote

A novel as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and moving as prayer. Matchless and towering. * Kirkus Review * The slow pulse of Robinson's writing slows the reader's eye and mind, and creates in the reading process a literary version of the narrator's spiritual experience. Gilead reminds us that words have power to spare, to forgive, to do justice * Independent * Stunning... there are gems on every page of Gilead, but it is the whole construction that marks it as a great work * Daily Telegraph * Gilead is no less a masterpiece than Housekeeping * Sunday Times * Her poetic, almost biblical style of writing...flows like clear cold water and is full of quiet power while remaining oddly conversational... People say they love these books, and I can see why. Quite how they can do so without discerning within them a serious, deep, patient but modest defence of the Christian proposition, I do not know. -- Peter Hitchens * Mail Online * ...a country of mystical sunsets, abandoned shacks, storms that could have come out of the book of Job, snowstorms that that can take your life within a few feet of your own front door, and wild rivers in which one can be baptized. I said Marilynne Robinson's prose was like clear, cold water and so it is - and sometimes it is about water too - you are never far from its cleansing, chilly power, or from the mysterious rush of the wind, sounding like the ocean in a region impossibly far from any sea. -- Peter Hitchens * Mail Online *
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About Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson was born in 1947. Her first novel, Housekeeping (1981) received the PEN/Hemingway award for best first novel as well as being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize
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Rating details

72,711 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 35% (25,560)
4 31% (22,659)
3 21% (15,362)
2 9% (6,287)
1 4% (2,843)

Our customer reviews

Gilead is the second novel by American author Marilynne Robinson. It is 1956, in Gilead, Iowa, and John Ames, a seventy-six year-old preacher with heart failure, is writing a letter to his young son. After losing his first wife and daughter in childbirth, he has spent almost fifty years tending his flock, more than forty of them alone, before falling in love with Lila, thirty-five years his junior, and fathering a son. Knowing he will not see him grow up, he tries to tell his son the things he will need to know in life. He tells of the relationship he had with his father and grandfather, also preachers, and of the parting in anger, never reconciled, of his father and grandfather. As he writes, his anxieties for his wife and son's future security are voiced. When his godson and namesake John Ames Boughton (Jake), the prodigal son of his closest friend, returns to Gilead, he also worries about what danger his young family may face from this irresponsible man. Robinson skilfully and slowly builds this story that is occasionally more like a diary or stream of consciousness than a letter. The patient reader is rewarded with a beautiful ending that is bound to bring a tear to the eye. It is no surprise that this novel is the Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Orange Prize for Fiction. I look forward to "Home" which tells the associated story of the Boughtons. Uplifting.show more
by Marianne Vincent
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