As a religious nonbeliever, I was unexpectedly absorbed by Marilynne Robinson's tale of one man's self-examination of grace and faith. I suspect it's because, underneath all the religious baggage of supernatural nonsense and what I can only describe as a pervasive anti-critical mindset, I'm attracted to the humanistic side of the believer's search for meaning. After all, the familiar story of love and loss and love again is universal. The novel's narrator, John Ames, and I (and Ms. Robinson to some degree, I'm betting) all seek a similar truth in life. I just happen to start from a different viewpoint.
Gilead is also one of the best written books I've come across this year. I challenge any committed reader to read the first few chapters and not be moved by the writing.
This is a beautiful and powerful love note from father to son that is weighted by forgiveness, acceptance, willingness to learn and change, and with blessings to all for a beautiful life. A great read for anyone looking for kind words during hard times, or for spiritual inquiry. I do not recommend reading this simultaneously with Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, like I did. OR maybe that was just the best idea ever?
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