Marilynne Robinson, author of Gilead and Home has written, her third book located in the US Midwestern town of Gilead – this one entitled Lila. Like the others in the set, Lila follows the characters of Rev. Ames; his new and much younger wife, Lila; his lifelong friend Rev. Boughton; and Boughton’s estranged son Jack. This time the focus is on Lila’s past and her courtship with the Reverend Ames. Again like the other books, there’s no narrative to speak of in Lila; everything I’ve told you in the character list covers it. The beauty of this book lies in its gorgeous evocation of the development of hope, and the fragile creation of trust. Gilead is so wonderful that I am still unable to describe it: I will hazard ‘transcendental’, and I mean it. (It also won the Pulitzer Prize.) And with Lila, Marilynne Robinson has written a fitting successor, very very nearly as good and just as beautiful. It would be a misnomer to call it a series, as each book can be read independently and in any order. Start with Lila or Gilead, and I promise you won’t be sorry.
Lila — TP — $30 ; Home — PB — $22.95 ; Gilead — PB — $20