Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

So now a book review too. Just finished this today. Been reading it slowly as it is a book to be savoured – beautfiully written, very simple and almost unbearably moving at times. It is the story of John Ames, a reverend who has a young son and who knows he is old and dying. He writes down his life, his thoughts about love, faith, friendship and life in general – all the while he is experiencing a conflict over his friend’s son. It doesn’t sound much and the plot is not really the point of the book. There aren’t many characters and it is all mainly an internal monologue so it is all just his impressions but she writes it so you can see his flaws through his words.

The parts where he discusses faith are the most interesting and had me thinking again of the narrowness of spirit of those who scoff at the idea of religion. I do not have any faith myself but I like the romance of it, the poetry that can be found in knowing that some things will always be unknowable. I like thinking that the ideas that drive the major religions – love, forgiveness – seem to be universal and adhered to for centuries by humans, in amongst all the nonsense and harm that we put each other through.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this but I was just in a quiet reflective place after finishing the book this morning. It’s lovely.

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