Gilead by Marilynne Robinson – A review

Gilead

This novel is one of President Obama’s favourite books. It is widely acclaimed as a book of meditative calm and spiritual intensity. Despite its success with a secular audience it unusually has a lot of openly religious content. Revd. John Ames is a Congregational minister and the chief character and narrator. He had experienced great sorrow for a long time in his life after the death of his wife and daughter. Many years later when 69 years of age however he meets and marries his second wife, Lila, who is much younger than him. The book has a quiet gentle almost mystical feeling of peaceful old age – a letting go of the things of life. John remembers grief but never without comfort, loneliness but never without peace.