I simply could not get Gilead out of my head
after I read it. Neither, apparently, could
Marilynne Robinson, so she wrote it all over again
from another character's perspective, even replaying
some of the same scenes from a different corner of
The story at the heart of both books is Jack Boughton's return to Gilead, Iowa, after twenty painful years of self-exile, and the way his presence deeply unsettles two families, his own and that of his father's best friend, John Ames. Jack sinned mightily in his youth when he took up and then discarded a poor young girl in Gilead, leaving her to care for the child that resulted from their union, and it is almost as if Jack decided out of a certain twisted integrity to live the rest of his ...
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