Gilead ~ By Marilynne Robinson
Genre: Adult Fiction (Literary)
Source: Book store
Gilead is not so much a novel as it is a contemplative work of philosophical fiction. Through the words of Congregationalist minister John Ames, we are guided through his life as a spiritual leader, the good, the bad and the ugly. Though the book, itself is small and the words simple, the thoughts are heavy and powerful. The eternal questions of goodness v. evil, predestination and variations on love and life are discussed in a rambling, folksy and relatable manner.
My habit has been to read books of thought pertaining to existentialism and a deeper, often darker, perception of human kind and the metaphysical world. It was, for this reason, that I actually found myself enjoying a new experience in reading a much more “centrally christian” take on the spiritual world through a more mainstream approach. Not that there is much preaching of when or how to act, between the covers, here, but rather, it specifically does not give any creedo in passing. It simply, peacefully comes upon questions and then moves on.
I will say that I was frustrated with the pace of the book more than a few times. I think that this might have been a book to read in short snippets before bed rather than try to swallow as a full, linear offering. I think that once I adopted the former approach, I made my peace with the slower parts and really enjoyed it for what it was, not what I was trying to make it become.