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Gilead

Author: Marilynne Robinson
Publisher: New York : Picador, [2004] ©2004
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Reverend John Ames is dying in 1956 in Gilead, Iowa. Glory Boughton has returned to care for her dying father and soon her brother, Jack, the prodigal son, comes home, too. 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.
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Details

Genre/Form: Domestic fiction
Fiction
Epistolary fiction
Christian fiction
Prof's picks
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Marilynne Robinson
ISBN: 031242440X 9780312424404
OCLC Number: 83902824
Notes: Originally published in hardcover: New York : Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2004.
Awards: Pulitzer Prize: Fiction, 2005; National Book Critics Circle award, 2004
Description: 247 pages ; 21 cm
Responsibility: Marilynne Robinson.

Abstract:

Reverend John Ames is dying in 1956 in Gilead, Iowa. Glory Boughton has returned to care for her dying father and soon her brother, Jack, the prodigal son, comes home, too. 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.

In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He "preached men into the Civil War," then, at age fifty, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle. Reverend Ames writes to his son about the tension between his father--an ardent pacifist--and his grandfather, whose pistol and bloody shirts, concealed in an army blanket, may be relics from the fight between the abolitionists and those settlers who wanted to vote Kansas into the union as a slave state. And he tells a story of the sacred bonds between fathers and sons, which are tested in his tender and strained relationship with his namesake, John Ames Boughton, his best friend's wayward son. This is also the tale of another remarkable vision--not a corporeal vision of God but the vision of life as a wondrously strange creation. It tells how wisdom was forged in Ames's soul during his solitary life, and how history lives through generations, pervasively present even when betrayed and forgotten. -- Publisher description

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