Gilead book coverIn the 1950’s in Gilead Iowa, a 76 year old preacher, John Ames, sits down to write a letter to his six-year-old son.  Knowing he doesn’t have long to live, he takes it upon himself to tell this boy all the things that normally would take a lifetime to share.  This is the premise of Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gilead.  Much of the book deals with the Ames family history.  John’s father and grandfather, both preachers themselves, struggled with many of the same issues that all fathers deal with – issues of loyalty and independence.  Robinson writes the book from the perspective of someone acutely aware of the sanctity and preciousness of each moment of life.  Gilead is a slow, thoughtful summer tale, rich with history and a warm insight into the intensity of family relationships.