Author: Marilynne Robinson
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: September, 29, 2020
Book Description: Marilynne Robinson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, returns to the world of Gilead with Jack, the latest novel in one of the great works of contemporary American fiction
Marilynne Robinson’s mythical world of Gilead, Iowa—the setting of her novels Gilead, Home, and Lila, and now Jack—and its beloved characters have illuminated and interrogated the complexities of American history, the power of our emotions, and the wonders of a sacred world. Jack is Robinson’s fourth novel in this now-classic series. In it, Robinson tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Gilead’s Presbyterian minister, and his romance with Della Miles, a high school teacher who is also the child of a preacher. Their deeply felt, tormented, star-crossed interracial romance resonates with all the paradoxes of American life, then and now.
Robinson’s Gilead novels, which have won one Pulitzer Prize and two National Book Critics Circle Awards, are a vital contribution to contemporary American literature and a revelation of our national character and humanity.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Set in the same world as Gilead, Marilynne Robinson brings us the 4th installment in this series, this one centered around Jack Boughton. While each book in the Gilead series is independent, you will be all the better for reading them all, especially walking into Jack’s story.
Jack takes place prior to Gilead, Home and Lila. We know from the other books, Jack who is an important character, finally makes his way to Gilead after 20 years. Jack returns to give space to the woman he loves and is married to in heart while she decides the next steps of their relationship.
This story takes place years prior when Jack meets Della. Jack shares a major commonality with Della, they are both children of preachers. However, there is one thing that is causing strife, Jack is White and Della is Black. This is back in a time where this was just simply not done.
We get a lush story told from Jack and his unyielding love for Della. Robinson, paints a very dark story of how Jack was treated by the community and Della’s family.
If you have read Marilynne Robinson you know to take your time with this book. This a beautiful addition to the Gilead cannon. Read this with a glass wine, snuggled up and be prepared to take in some of the most beautiful prose you will every read.
Thank you NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.