Theology, Literature & Coffee
TLC: The votes are in and the next TLC book is … TWO books: Gilead and Home by Marilynne Robinson! Since we have all of July and August to read before we meet again on Sunday, September 10, at 9:00 AM, TLC has chosen to read these two connected novels. Published in 2004, Gilead won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. Robinson, a member of the United Church of Christ wrote this, her second novel, as an epistolary novel. In fact, the entire narrative is a single, continuing, albeit episodic, document, written on several occasions in a form combining a journal and a memoir. It comprises the fictional autobiography of the Reverend John Ames, an elderly congregational pastor in the small, secluded town of Gilead, Iowa, who knows that he is dying of a heart condition. At the beginning of the book, the date is established as 1956, and Ames explains that he is writing an account of his life for his seven-year-old son, who will have few memories of him. Just four years after Gilead, Robinson published Home, an unusual exercise: a concurrent companion to Gilead, not sequel but sibling, narrating the same events as that novel, but in the context of a different family history and from different perspectives. In the midst of Ames's elegiac reminiscences in Gilead suddenly appears his namesake, John (Jack) Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Ames's best friend, the reverend Robert Boughton, a Presbyterian minister. Home retells Jack Boughton's story from the point of view of his younger sister, Glory, who has reluctantly returned to Gilead at the age of 38 to care for her dying father. So, get your copies of Gilead and Home by Marilynne Robinson, and start reading! Then, join us on Sunday, September 10, at 9:00 AM, and come to know one another and our God better as we discuss these two theologically rich, beautiful novels written by a sister of ours in the United Church of Christ. Come and experience our “Stillspeaking” God at Theology, Literature and Coffee!