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A Novel

by Marilynne Robinson

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  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2009, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

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Novel. A moving and healing book about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations

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 room.

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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