BookBrowse Reviews Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Gilead

A Novel

by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson X
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Nov 2004, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2006, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A beautifully rendered story . . . full of penetrating intellect and artful prose. Novel

Comment: 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.... Many writers try to capture life's universals of strength, struggle, joy and forgiveness - but Robinson truly succeeds in what is destined to become her second classic.' - Publishers Weekly.

'A beautifully rendered story . . . full of penetrating intellect and artful prose . . . that captures the splendors and pitfalls of being alive . . . The world could use more novels this wise and radiant.' - The Charlotte Observer.

About the author: Marilynne Robinson was born in 1947 in Sandpoint, Idaho. After attending high school in Sandpoint she went to Brown University, graduating in 1966; she then enrolled in the graduate program in English at the University of Washington, where she started writing her first novel, Housekeeping (1981) which tells the story of two girls growing up in rural Idaho in the mid-1900s and is regarded by many as an American classic; it received the PEN/Hemingway award for best first novel and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

After the publication of Housekeeping, Robinson began writing essays and book reviews for Harper's, Paris Review, and The New York Times Book Review. She also served as writer-in-residence and visiting professor at numerous colleges and universities, including the University of Kent in England, Amherst College, and the University of Massachusetts.

Her second book, Mother Country: Britain, The Welfare State and Nuclear Pollution (1988), revealed the extensive environmental damage caused by the nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield, in the north of England; the book evolved from an essay that she wrote for Harper's Review and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

A decade later, she published a collection of essays entitled The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought. Gilead, her second novel, was published in hardcover simultaneously in the US, UK and Canada in November 2004.

This review is from the January 18, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.