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?" Jeremiah 8:22
An article from Publishers Weekly about Housekeeping
Pictures of the Gilead area.