Lila
16%
off

Lila

3.89 (21,134 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church-the only available shelter from the rain-and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister and widower, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the days of suffering that preceded her newfound security.Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood of itinerant work. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand-to-mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a lucky knife to protect them. But despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life is laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to harmonize the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves.Revisiting the beloved characters and setting of Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead and Orange Prize-winning Home, Lila is a moving expression of the mysteries of existence.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 137 x 216 x 20mm | 368g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1844088812
  • 9781844088812
  • 20,126

Review quote

The novel of the year for me was Lila by Marilynne Robinson, revisiting the fictional Gilead of her three previous novels. The prose, as always, is magnificent, pitch-perfect, carrying a moral authority, a gravitas and a spiritual depth. There really is nobody else writing like this -- Alan Spence * Herald * Intricate and beautiful -- William Leith * Evening Standard * One of the finest writers in America * The Economist * Lila was the book of books this year, an amazing achievement -- Todd McEwen * Sunday Herald * Lila by Marilynne Robinson is the heartbreaking conclusion to her Gilead trilogy -- Robert McCrum * Observer * Exquisitely observed, an ultimately optimistic journey through the corrosive power of shame to divide and distort -- Naomi Alderman * Observer * My novel of the year can only be Lila by the inimitable Marilynne Robinson . . .my favourite living author and this once again demonstrates her remarkable gift for psychological depth -- Salley Vickers * Observer * The giant themes and big questions that sit beneath the surface of Lila's incredibly moving story are compelling -- Amma Asante * Observer * Subtle shifts of loyalties, strange moral priorities make [Robinson's] books compellingly powerful -- Joan Bakewell * New Statesman * Her questioning books express wonder: they are enlightening, in the best sense, passionately contesting our facile, recycled understanding of ourselves and of our world -- Sarah Churchwell * Guardian * Mesmerising . . . reminiscent of the great Victorian novelists . . . Robinson's exquisitely wrought prose resonates * Mail on Sunday * Lila has a power beyond words * Stylist * As a reader you feel very well looked after by Marilynne Robinson: you are knocked out by the weight of thought, the care, the worry she puts into her work. You find yourself wandering into vast new rooms, as if you're in a fabulous museum you've dreamt up for your own pleasure. There's really no one else writing like this today . . . Lila is just so damnably beautiful * Herald * The Gilead novels provide insights into a people whose fates are bound to the land they live on. Iowa must be proud to have such a chronicler among them -- Sarah Franklin * Sunday Express * Lila is a deeply affecting exploration of existence and love * List * Robinson's writing can light up consciousness, and make even the most passing thoughts feel indelible. Her older sister in American literature is Emily Dickinson * Prospect * Robinson explores eternity, and she does so in a quiet, ruminative style that takes over your heart as well as your head. Once you've fallen under her spell, she's not just mesmerising but indispensable -- Maggie Fergusson * Intelligent Life (The Economist) * Searching and full of grace * Daily Telegraph * Told with measured and absorbing elegance, this account of the growing love and trust between Lila and Reverend Ames is touching and convincing. * Scotland on Sunday * Robinson has made a world so palpable and full that each book can stand alone...Taken together, these books will surely be known as one of the great achievements of contemporary literature * Observer * A sumptuous, graceful, and ultimately life-affirming novel -- James Kidd * Independent on Sunday * Lila is a deeply affecting exploration of existence, love and the inevitability of loneliness. And although enriched by the two preceding books, it has the strength, beauty and originality to be read, enjoyed and appreciated as a standalone work. Written in beautiful, poetic prose, it's a remarkable achievement * List * This third novel in the sequence is, in many ways, the most adventurous of all . . . Lila is the work of an exceptional novelist at the peak of her capacity -- Rowan Williams * New Statesman * Measured and lyrical; the sound of this book is akin at times to the Cormac McCarthy of The Road . . . Robinson writes brilliantly about the way people dance warily around each other, never quite coinciding, stricken with longing and love * Literary Review * There is no one quite like this American writer, or quite as good as her . . . extraordinarily fluent and pitch perfect prose * Tablet * Robinson is a glorious writer . . . This novel, different in tone from its predecessors, stands beautifully alongside them -- Claire Messud * Financial Times * Although Lila revisits the characters of Robinson's previous books, Gilead, a Pulitzer prizewinner, and Home, a finalist in the American National Book Awards, and brings a certain completeness to their journeys, the book stands well on its own as a powerful search for the meaning of life as well as a touching and unlikely story of love and, ultimately, hope * The Times * Tinged with heartbreaking beauty * Scotsman * Deeply moving, almost transformative . . . frank and direct, but occasionally moved to ecstasy by the spirit * Sunday Times * Lila is a really beautiful book: beautiful prose, beautiful story; morally beautiful too. After reading it the world seems more dazzling, fuller of wonder and mystery than it did before, as if you were newly in love. I wish I could persuade everyone who ever buys a book to read this one -- Cressida Connolly * Spectator * This superb novel can only add to [Robinson's] already stratospherically high reputation * Daily Mail * Robinson brings [the story] to pulsating life in prose of great and luminous beauty . . . a book that leaves the reader feeling what can only be called exaltation -- Neel Mukherjee * Independent * One of the greatest living novelists . . . [Lila is] just as wise, moving and genuine as its predecessors * Harper's Bazaar * A masterpiece . . . Lila is a superb creation * Publishers Weekly *show more

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. Gilead won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and Home won the Orange Prize.show more

Review Text

A masterpiece . . . Lila is a superb creation Publishers Weeklyshow more

Rating details

21,134 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 34% (7,143)
4 35% (7,424)
3 21% (4,391)
2 8% (1,608)
1 3% (568)

Our customer reviews

"She saw him standing in the parlor with his beautiful old head bowed down on his beautiful old chest......Praying looks just like grief. Like shame. Like regret" Lila is the fourth novel by prize-winning American author, Marilynne Robinson, and the third book in the Gilead series. Readers of the first book will recall that seventy-six year old Reverend John Ames was married to Lila, a woman thirty-five years his junior who had borne him a son seven years before. Just how that somewhat intriguing situation came to be: how an old man came to marry a much younger woman, a woman with a very different background to that of his first wife; is what Robinson relates in this third book. As her life with John Ames and her pregnancy progresses, Lila, a seemingly prickly character, thinks back on her life, the events of which are gradually revealed. It has been a life filled with hardship, loneliness and loss ("Don't want what you don't need and you'll be fine. Don't want what you can't have") and Lila finds it difficult to trust her new-found security with John Ames, constantly reassuring herself that she can leave at any time and go back to what she had before, although she is loathe to hurt him ("Maybe I can teach him a new kind of sadness. Maybe he really does care whether I stay or go"). It seems an unlikely match but as Lila reads the Bible and challenges John with all sorts of difficult questions about life, it becomes apparent that both parties benefit from the union. She muses "What would I pray for, if I thought there was any point to it? Well, I guess the first thing would have to be that there was some kind of point to it" and eventually finds that his care "was nothing she had known to hope for and something she had wanted too much all the same. So too much happiness came with it, and happiness was strange to her." This is a novel with some beautiful descriptive prose ("She had never really thought about the way the dead would gather at the edge of town, all their names spelled out so you'd know whose they were for as long as that family lived in that place" and "...the fields looking so green in the evening light...Every farmhouse in its cloud of trees. There is a way trees stir before rain, as if they already felt the heaviness"), as well as many words of wisdom ("Any good thing is less good the more any human lays claim to it" and "Thinking about hell doesn't help me live the way I should"). This moving and thought-provoking novel, National Book Award Nominee for Fiction 2014, is a heart-warming read. With thanks to TheReadingRoom and the publisher for this copy to read and review.show more
by Marianne Vincent
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X