By Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson (1943) won the Pulitzer Prize for the book Gilead in 2004. Like all of Robinson's books this is a work of pure grace. The story is as old as it is necessary of a tale. She tells of the gentle life of a simple country minister who presides with the Congregational Church in Gilead, Iowa. This is a story of faith, friendship, ritual, family and redemption hoped for in heaven and known upon this earth, though hard may it all sometimes be. A very human tale of growing up and growing old amidst a town, a family, a church. Many readers will recognize this life being told about, though the secrets, doubts and pains may surprise the idealists. And if you come from another place and walk of life this book will open up to you this rural mid-western white Christian experience. For me this is a book that reminds me of dusk, half glowing in light and half in shadow, leaving a sense of passing as well of new times coming.