Thursday, June 05, 2014

Gilead: Book Review

Gilead (by Marilynne Robinson) took me by surprise. I'd listened to Rebecca and Jeff discuss it on the Book Riot Podcast, so I was fairly certain there would be tears. I just misjudged completely what would make me emotional.

Let's back up. Gilead is the story of a much older father writing to his young son, attempting to cram a lifetime of learning and relationship into what he thinks are the last few weeks or months of his life. In an almost stream of consciousness, the father (a preacher) weaves family history with spiritual struggle in a way that's entirely unpretentious and, yet, rendered beautifully.

I fully expected to cry at the father's anticipated death. Instead, I found tears pouring down my cheeks at the points where his struggles are my struggles and when he nails ideas I've only begun to circle around. He speaks of each of us being alone, essentially being unknowable to each other and comparable to distinct civilizations. Somehow, it was in these words that I felt known, unalone.

Robinson captures so eloquently my desire to know, really know, my family. Parents lead such interior, seemingly secret lives from their children, and to be able to share in what makes them them seems precious.

"I'm trying to make the best of our situation..."

You need only look at my dog-eared copy to know that there are so many highlight-worthy passages in this book. I can tell it's one I'll keep coming back to.

Do you have books you read on the regular? It's somewhat abnormal for me.

Listen to Ravena and I talk about this and other books we've been reading over the last two weeks!

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