Lila: A Novel : Gilead

  • by Marilynne Robinson
  • Narrated by Maggie Hoffman
  • Series: Gilead
  • 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A new American classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead and Housekeeping. Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, returns to the town of Gilead in an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder.
Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church - the only available shelter from the rain - and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.
Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand to mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a ragged blade to protect them. Despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life was laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to reconcile the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves.
Revisiting the beloved characters and setting of Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead and Home, a National Book Award finalist, Lila is a moving expression of the mysteries of existence that is destined to become an American classic.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Life is what it is....

This isn't a book for everyone, it's a book for thinkers, those who think about God, life, and what iife is all about. Life is what it is is the mantra I took away from the story. A sequel to the author's Pulitzer Prize winning "Gilead", it's also set in Gilead, Iowa with mostly the same characters. This book, however, focuses on Lila, one of the minor characters in the book Gilead. The author has worked at the University of Iowa and its Writers Workshop for the last 25 years. She's a thinker, an intellectual and this, and her other books, are a reflection of the believes she has developed over her lifetime. The author is a member of the United Church of Christ and a follower of the teachings of John Calvin. The more I learned about her in researching her life, it came to me that this is her way to put what she thinks about life and religion into a book as a parable set in a fictional small Iowa town. If you enjoy her books and what they are saying it makes you want to know more.
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- Stevon "I love books!"

Beautifully Written To A Fault

Lila is an exquisite book. It’s so well written. The prose is poetic. It’s religious and spiritual. I am sure that some book society somewhere is waiting with bated breath to give it a critical award. Is it a timely book written for the modern reader? I am not so sure.

This is the third of a trilogy written by the legendary Marilynne Robinson. All of these books take place in the town of Gilead, Iowa. In the first book, Gilead, Robinson writes about faith and Christianity using stories about the town and its minister as characters in her parables. In Home, the same minister is near death, writes a letter about his life to help his son with his struggles with alcoholism. Lila, a prequel, is a story about the unlikely marriage of a very elderly minister and a young drifter. Do not be mistaken in thinking that since this is a prequel you will be able to start this novel then go on to the other two. I was clearly lost for the first few chapters of Lila. I am not fond of books that throw the reader in the deep end, expecting them to figure out how they got here and how to save themselves at the same time.

Lila is a feral child born in the depression. Unloved by her natural family for no given reason, she is taken and cared for by a drifter, with little means of support, named Doll. Eventually, Lila crosses paths with the elderly generous minister whom saves her from her profound loneliness and they share a depth of love and faith that few see in their lifetime. At times each is the more learned, the needier and the more giving.

You will not read a better written book. Will this slow moving somber character study keep your interest is a question that I am feeling was the least important consideration of the author when writing this book.
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- tooonce72

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-07-2014
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio