Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2005
National Book Critics Circle Award, Fiction, 2005
From the author of Housekeeping, Gilead is the long-hoped-for second novel by one of America's finest writers.Chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the top six novels of 2004. In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames' life, he begins a letter to his young son, a kind of last testament to his remarkable forebears.
"It is a book of such meditative calm, such spiritual intensity that is seems miraculous that her silence was only for 23 years; such measure of wisdom is the fruit of a lifetime." (Neel Mukherjee, The Times)
"Writing of this quality, with an authority as unforced as the perfect pitch in music, is rare and carries with it a sense almost of danger - that at any moment, it might all go wrong. In Gilead, however, nothing goes wrong." (Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph)
"The gently American, finely judged narration succeeds in combining contemplation with vigour and in conveying a suggestion of mysticism." (The Observer)
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A salve to the soul and a joy
The narrator of this beautiful book is an elderly priest in 1956 reflecting on his life in the small mid west town of Gilead. He is a tremendously appealing character -wise and sympathetic and flawed. It's a very human, sweet and profound book about families and small towns and troubles and belief. The last ten minutes had me close to tears and when it finished I found I'd been holding my breath. A joy.
Beautiful story, excellent narration
Absolutely. Although I am not at all religious, I do have a spiritual side and from time to time I ponder my values, what my purpose in life is and whether I'm being the best person I can be. In this beautiful story, that is exactly what John Ames also did, and I very much enjoyed reflecting on his ideas and observations - strengths, foibles and all. Everything about this book was serene and uplifting. It was a treat to listen to.
Tim Jerome is a first-class narrator. The more audiobooks I listen to, the more I have come to appreciate the incredible talent of professional narrators like Jerome. The tone, timing, rhythm and pace and character understanding are all spot on. I will definitely be looking out for more of his work.