Book - 2014
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"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 days of suffering that preceded her newfound security"
Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2014.
Edition: 1st Canadian ed.
ISBN: 9781443413701
Branch Call Number: FIC ROBIN
Characteristics: 261 p.


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RogerDeBlanck Jul 27, 2018

With her previous two novels, Gilead and Home, Marilynne Robinson established a standard of literary greatness that she once again sustains for with her novel, Lila. The three books now comprise a type of trilogy on spirituality involving the small town of Gilead, Iowa and chronicling the memorable lives of John Ames, his close friend Boughton, both their families, and John’s wife Lila. In addition, the three books breathtakingly expound upon the power of faith, compassion, and love. Indeed, Robinson’s novels are profound and enlightening experiences.

In Lila, the focus is on the title character, who eventually becomes the much younger wife of the seventy-year-old minister, John Ames. Before Lila’s marriage to Ames, her tough upbringing is illuminated with heartfelt vividness as she grows up on the margins of society alongside a woman named Doll. The two struggle to survive while Doll nurtures Lila like a daughter. No one delves the human heart and the challenges of pain, sorrow, and loneliness quite like Robinson. She tackles human suffering and redirects the plight of individuals towards a peace in life that can be found through the vitality of prayer and grace.

Abounding with wisdom and beauty, Lila is another fine achievement for Robinson. For a reader discovering her work for the first time, one may choose to start with Gilead and Home before venturing forward with Lila. In order to gain the extraordinary impact these books intend to deliver, reading them in order may be the best scenario.

Feb 13, 2017

Sadly this book was tedious to follow. Although the narrator is a poorly educated woman, Lila, much of the writing reads like John Ame's prose in Gilead. She has used the same writing style for this new main character and this gives me the idea that Ms. Robinson is tethered to one sort of voice

Dec 09, 2016

This book kept me on the edge of my seat as it rocked me peacefully on a sea of deep emotion.

Nov 27, 2016

Pretty good read. Some of it can be long winded. Book left me feeling humbled with a sense of gratitude for life.

annobooks Dec 03, 2015

Lyric at times but also a bit of a slog.

Nov 21, 2015

The writing reminded me of William Faulkner's writing style: very, very poor itinerant folks who are uneducated but not ignorant. They live the only life they've known with no idea of how to improve their lives. Each day is a struggle to find food and shelter and avoid danger. The story between Doll and Lila is heartfelt and loving and yet you sense that all will not end well for either of them. Lila finds John to love her and protect her, yet one has the sense all the way through the story that Lila might just disappear from his life any day. It would have been easier to read if the story had been parceled into chapters. It was somewhat grueling to read.

Oct 07, 2015

This is an extraordinary work - It is compelling in it' s honesty and sensitive presentation . I'm in love with John Ames

Aug 29, 2015

This slow, thoughtful, at times agonizing book is even better than its predecessors. An honest view of Lila's life, a dreadful childhood that both scars her and provides a sense of wonder. Abandonment, more than once, leads to a lack of trust, so that once she meets "the old man" and they marry, she can trust enough to tell him so. Yet eventually, they are happy together, especially when their son is born. This book is in a sense the backstory of "Gilead" but a wonderful read on its own. While it might be "easier" if you know the biblical references, its wisdom is accessible even if the reader rejects the theology. The point here is relationships, however they are based. Robinson is an incredibly wonderful writer.

Aug 12, 2015

I am in awe of Robinson's subtle prose. Her characters are luminously real. The absence of chapter breaks can make this novel a challenge to read at times, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Jul 04, 2015

A very nice book; no easy read.

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Jan 31, 2015

50Gretchen thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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