Cliquer sur une vignette pour aller sur Google Books.
par Marilynne Robinson
» 58 plus
Favourite Books (206)
Historical Fiction (44)
Female Author (129)
Five star books (80)
Books Read in 2016 (280)
Books Read in 2018 (151)
100 New Classics (30)
Top Five Books of 2014 (343)
Best family sagas (72)
Top Five Books of 2016 (230)
2000s decade (17)
Top Five Books of 2018 (516)
Books Read in 2020 (1,494)
Books Read in 2006 (18)
BBC Radio 4 Bookclub (154)
To Read (31)
Unread books (383)
One Book, Many Authors (314)
Books Read in 2019 (3,405)
A's favorite novels (33)
The American Experience (106)
Alphabetical Books (59)
All Iowa Reads (4)
Best Family Stories (244)
First edition as new
In 1950s Iowa, precisely in the windswept settlement of Gilead, Congregationalist minister John Ames is preparing to meet his Maker. Ames is 76 and his heart has been playing up. He knows that he does not have long to live, and that he will be leaving behind a young wife and a seven year old son, the unexpected blessing of his old age. So he sets out to write a long letter to this boy he will never see growing up. As Ames sifts through his memories, the story of his family (particularly his preacher father and grandfather) and the community which they served starts to take shape. Old pains and preoccupations resurface - particularly those related to the minister's godson and namesake John Ames Boughton. A troublemaker in childhood, youth and well into adulthood, is there the possibility of salvation for Boughton as well? Will God's grace ever touch him?
This is "Gilead" - part diary, part memoir; part testament, part confession. Robinson writes brilliantly - her narrator's style is perfectly pitched and utterly convincing with its continuous scriptural references and discursive theological debates underscored by very human emotions. Some scenes and metaphors - such as the image of John and and his father standing on the desolate grave of John's grandfather against the backdrop of a rising moon - will stick to the mind.
At one point in the novel, Ames mentions [b:The Diary of a Country Priest|63672|The Diary of a Country Priest|Georges Bernanos|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1436634216s/63672.jpg|1174195] by [a:Georges Bernanos|35812|Georges Bernanos|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1245180195p2/35812.jpg]. Although the latter book is written from a Catholic viewpoint (indeed, it is considered a classic "Catholic novel") whilst Gilead reflects a "Calvinist" theology, there are surprising similarities between the two works in their conception (a first-person journal), narrators (troubled "men of the cloth" in a small community) and in their concerns (mercy, grace, sin, redemption). However, I'd say that Robinson is a cannier writer. Although hers is no plot-driven novel, she tightly controls the few narrative threads and introduces gradual revelations in such a way that she grips the interest of the reader. I'd even go as far as saying that she manages to make her novel "entertaining" - and I mean that in a good way. Both are great books - but, to use a musical analogy, it's rather like comparing the organ works of Messiaen with the more immediate pleasures of Copland's "Appalachian Spring".
4.5* rounded up to 5*
Here in 2023, after reading Robinson's Lila and starting to read her Housekeeping, I see that I logged in this book in 2011. Now, though, I have no certain memory of having read it.
This book has been on my to-read list for a long time, but I resisted reading it. I do that often when a book seems too well-liked. But this one was different, because I knew I loved Marilynne Robinson and the book won the Pulitzer for god's sake. It was EXACTLY the type of book I like. So, I bought it. Waited a few years. And finally started it.
It was not over-hyped and I was not disappointed.
I can't put into words what I want to say about this book, so I will only say it was beautiful.
For a more perfect review of this book, see David Schaafsma's review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/617828154
I'm late to Robinson's books, but I read Housekeeping earlier this year and was mesmerized by it and felt deeply connected to Ruth, the narrator. When I began Gilead, which is also in first person, I had a harder time finding a connection to the dying preacher, John Ames. However, the language was just as beautiful as in Housekeeping, so I was drawn in. Writing a letter to his young son, he tells stories of how his grandfather's abolitionism and time as a Free Soiler came in conflict with his father's pacifism, and their family history, but this novel's heart, for me, was in his relationship with Jack, his best friend's prodigal son who has returned home.
Affichage de 1-5 de 357 (suivant | tout afficher)
But in Gilead, Robinson is addressing the plight of serious people with a calm-eyed reminder of the liberal philosophical and religious traditions of a nation whose small towns "were once the bold ramparts meant to shelter peace", citing a tradition of intellectual discursiveness and a historical cycle that shifts from radical to conservative then back to radical again, and presenting, as if from the point of view of time's own blindness, an era when unthinkable things were happening but were themselves about to change unimaginably, for the better. It takes issue with the status quo by being a message, across generations, from a now outdated status quo. "What have I to leave you but the ruins of old courage, and the lore of old gallantry and hope?"
Gradually, Robinson's novel teaches us how to read it, suggests how we might slow down to walk at its own processional pace, and how we might learn to coddle its many fine details. Nowadays, when so many writers are acclaimed as great stylists, it's hard to make anyone notice when you praise a writer's prose. There is, however, something remarkable about the writing in 'Gilead.' It's not just a matter of writing well, although Robinson demonstrates that talent on every page [...] Robinson's words have a spiritual force that's very rare in contemporary fiction -- what Ames means when he refers to 'grace as a sort of ecstatic fire that takes things down to essentials.
Marilynne Robinson draws on all of these associations in her new novel, which -- let's say this right now -- is so serenely beautiful, and written in a prose so gravely measured and thoughtful, that one feels touched with grace just to read it. Gilead possesses the quiet ineluctable perfection of Flaubert's "A Simple Heart" as well as the moral and emotional complexity of Robert Frost's deepest poetry. There's nothing flashy in these pages, and yet one regularly pauses to reread sentences, sometimes for their beauty, sometimes for their truth: "Adulthood is a wonderful thing, and brief. You must be sure to enjoy it while it lasts."
Appartient à la série
Est contenu dans
Contient un guide de lecture pour étudiant
Références à cette œuvre sur des ressources externes.
Wikipédia en anglais (1)
As the Reverend John Ames approaches the hour of his own death, he writes a letter to his son chronicling three previous generations of his family, a story that stretches back to the Civil War and reveals uncomfortable family secrets.
Aucune description trouvée dans une bibliothèque
Amazon Kindle (0 éditions)
Audible (0 éditions)
CD Audiobook (0 éditions)
Google Books — Chargement...
Classification décimale de Melvil (CDD)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
Classification de la Bibliothèque du Congrès
Est-ce vous ?
Devenez un(e) auteur LibraryThing.