It's 1956 in Gilead, Iowa and Reverend John Ames is dying. He spends his final days writing letters to his seven year old son. These moving letters are an account of the Reverend's life; his journeys and tragedies, feelings on the beautiful and spiritual, and on the sacred bond between fathers and sons. The return of Jack Ames Boughton, wayward son of close friend and fellow preacher Boughton, heightens tension in the Ames and Boughton households. Through his letters, we see the Reverend Ames' anger and distrust of Jack turn to shame, forgiveness and finally hope for the troubled man who is his namesake. This moving account of a parent trying to give his child something to remember him by reads like a hymn to life and creation. Gilead was the 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction and is listed among President Barack Obama's favorite books.
Home is Marilynne Robinson's third novel and winner of the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction. Focusing on the Boughton household upon the arrival of son Jack after a twenty year absence, Home takes place during the same time frame as Robinson's previous novel Gilead. Glory, Jack, and their father Boughton confront old wounds as the tale of Jack's life before and after a fateful incident is revealed. Home is an essential companion to Gilead, providing an intimate look at Jack and exploring the relationship between acceptance, forgiveness, and love. Robinson's novels are beautifully written and equal parts somber and joyful, simple and profound.
Submitted by Kristina @ Central