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Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


About the book:
In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, a kind of last testament to his remarkable forebears. Reverend Ames writes to his son about the tension between his father - an ardent pacifist - and his grandfather who came west to Kansas to fight for abolition and 'preached men into the Civil War'. And he tells the story of the sacred bonds between fathers and sons, which are tested in his tender and strained relationship with his namesake, John Ames Boughton, his best friends wayward son. This is also the tale of a remarkable vision of life as a wonderously strange creation. It tells how wisdom was forged in Ames's soul during his solitary life and how history lives through generations.

I really enjoyed it. I was surprised that I did, because I hated her novel, Housekeeping. The story in Gilead was far more interesting to me. It is a narration of a man's life, given from his perspective: John Ames is an elderly parent of a young child, as well as a preacher ,who writes out his life's story for his young son. His conversational tone is pleasant and easy to read. His insights are simple, yet profound and his natural use of scripture to further a point or add to a passage is a bonus.

Robinson's novels are not fast reads, but require time and patience. I find that frustrating, as I tend to read quickly. But, her prose is beautiful, and I definitely recommend Gilead.

Read 11/07

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