Fans of Robinson's debut Housekeeping
have been waiting 23 years for her to
publish a second novel and, according to the overwhelmingly glowing reviews, the
wait has been worth it. The story is told by the Rev. John Ames who at 77
years of age in 1956, and in failing health, decides to write a letter to his
six-year-old son with an account of his life, and that of his father and grandfather. Doesn't sound like much of a storyline I know but, as the
saying goes, it's not what you say but how you say it! Here are a few
comments from the multitude of reviewers who have already pitched in with their
views on Gilead
Robinson's prose is beautiful, shimmering and precise; the
revelations are subtle but never muted when they come, and the careful telling
carries the breath of suspense.......
Beyond the Book
The Biblical Gilead is a region near the Jordan River which is
described as having plants with healing properties. According to some
sources, the Hebrew origin of the word simply means 'rocky area.' -
which begs the question whether it makes an ironic or symbolically
accurate title for Robinson's novel?
"Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is
not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?"
An article from
Weekly about Housekeeping
Pictures of the