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Jack A new classic from the Pulitzer Prizewinning author of Gilead and HousekeepingThe longawaited fourth and last of Marilynne Robinson's Gilead novelsone of the great works of contemporary literatureWith Jack, Robinson takes her readers back to the small town of Gilead, Iowa, in , to tell the story of John Ames Boughton, the godson of John Ames and the black sheep of his family He's a neer do well and the beloved prodigal son who falls in love with and marries Della, a beautiful and brilliant AfricanAmerican teacher he meets in segregated St Louis Their fraught, beautiful romance is one of Robinson's greatest achievements I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.If you've read Marilynne Robinson [I have], you know what you're in fora prose treat [is that a thing?!]The settinga part of the Gilead series [though I believe this can stand alone] Set in St Louis, sometime after WWII John Boughton, aka Jack, is a drunk , ne'er do well, and the black sheep of his family His father is a Presbyterian minister in Gilead, Iowa Jack meets Della Miles, an AfricanAmerican high school teacher, whose father also is a preacher, in a cemeterylate at night They fall in loveand set in motion a story of racism [among other thingstheir relationship is illegal], sadness, struggle, selfdoubt, selfdestruction, loneliness, hope, grace, religious themes, andThis is a book that builds, and must be read slowlybecause, the language, the language! At first [very early on] I thought it somewhat simplistic, but then it becomes farintense One must devote time to reading and savoring the descriptions and directions that Robinson is leading us in this eloquent and thoughtful novel. Some of the descriptions slayed mebut it is the paragraphs that are truly thought provoking and concentration is necessary.Nonetheless, I offer a few brief phrases that resonated images:his age, that relaxation of the fleshfeeling the overbrearing innocence of strangers' domesticityvanished, a little arthriticallydoors of churches were open, releasing gusts of music and sociabilityand so many .Much resonated with timeliness of todayespecially the racisim But also consider: You are good as a courtesy to everyone around you {i.e., wearing a mask]And I learned several new wordse.g., narhex, cerements, and apophatic.I'm not sure my review does this book justice But do read if you are at all inclined Just be prepared to have your jaw drop at times and your brain be somwhat confounded by the complexity of this novel, Loved it.I loved the pure beauty of the gracefully written words.the feelings they stimulated in me Each sentence seemed to be fierce and affecting Spiritual, morally and emotionally complex ‘novels’ are exceptionally rare.Marilynne Robinson is ‘exceptionally’ rare.Her entire bodyofwork is quietly powerful.Reading, *Jack* [an affecting novel during the 1950’s], came at a perfect timeabsolutely perfect! With all the racial upheaval happening in 2020and many American’s taking time to read study and reeducate themselves about American Black history racial and civil inequality “Jack” is the ideal ‘fiction’ satisfying tale with it’s wonderful experiential storytelling.to compliment the other ‘nonfiction’ books I’ve recently read:.Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, by Jason Reynolds.So You Want to Talk about Racism, by Ijeoma Oluo.White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo.The Buddhist on Death Row, by David Sheff.Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson Fiction and NonFiction Bipartisanship unite! The story, ( with the memorable characters), language, interracial and religious themes, explored in *Jack* lyrical, meditative, and thoughtfully contemplative..spoke to my heart I was left feeling that even with all the evil in the world—goodness prevails “Jack”.is predominantly Jack’s story ( told from his point of view), the son of a Presbyterian preacher Selfacclaimed bum, living in Saint Louis Jack is white ( also, a former convict, drunk, and thief).yet.I was rooting for him Interracial unions were illegal and loathed upon in the 1950’s.But.the heart wants what the heart wants ( it’s our minds, judgements, fears, guilt, evaluations, righteousness,..egos that block the flow of love).Della is a young beloved daughter, of a Memphis Bishop.a proper Christian woman The simplest way to say this: Jack and Della fall in love The complexity of their love is less simple The story captures splendors and pitfalls of being human Sooooo many deeply felt moments.page after page.Moments like this:“An ordinary man would not grieve forever over the sins of his youth, he was fairly sure And an ordinary man would not dread this great, blind impulse of distruction prophesied at officious length in any newspaper Then there was Della Abstractly considered, a man who could threaten her as Jack did, if he felt noguilt about it than he could live with then, would be an utter scoundrel This meant the dark storms of bewilderment would deepen and Jack would have no refuge except, of course, in Della’s sweet calm He took comfort so quickly at the thought of her that he felt a shudder of calm pass through his body, a thing he had never even heard of He had to surrender his refuge in order to avoid the most desperate need of it An hour or two tomorrow evening and then he would tell her goodbye and he would mean it” “Try to mean it” “I am a Negro, because my God created me to be what I am, and as I am, so I will return to my God, for He knows just why He created me as he did Marcus Garvey, of course Teaching us to respect ourselves To live up to ourselves I will say it to my children, and they will say it to their children and their grandchildren They’ll be Negroes and they’ll live Negro lives And you won’t have any effect on that at all Does that bother you?” “No A little I haven’t given it much thought, really This was probably not true” Love love love.ALL of Marilynne Robinson’s book.and “Jack” was a wonderful sequitar to the Gileadseries Thank you Netgalley, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Marilynne Robinson for this wonderful timelypowerful and affecting novel. A wonderfully written introspective on two people who are lonely, hurt, and find one another and share their beliefs and love It's a keen look at John Ames Boughton, the son of a Presbyterian minister, and Della Miles, an African American, daughter of a preacher Taking place in Gilead, the well known place of the books that precede this one, we find a beautiful love story, one that transcends time and the unrest and discrimination of the South Jack is ever so troubled, seeing himself as less than nothing, a failure, a drunk, a draft dodger As his relationship with Della proceeds, he finds himself looking at a different Jack, one who has a poetic side, a lover of literature, a value he has never considered, a person to love Her love for him is fraught with the dangers of the time and develops slowly and beautifully.Wondrously written as all the books about Gilead are, this book is breathtaking in its view, and enables the reader to once again view the times of life and its unhappiness and joy after the war Truly a recommended read.Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this story due out September 29, 2020 Jack Boughton is the son of Gilead, Iowa’s Minister Boughton, named after John Ames, the preacher and narrator of Robinson’s Gilead This fourth in Robinson’s connected volumes is his story, revealing much about Jack, and the woman he meets, and falls in love with Della Miles – a teacher who is the daughter of an important black family in Memphis Jack is viewed by others as a goodfornothing bum, indeed, he views himself a lessthan He is a man who has been to prison, a draft dodger during WWII, and tends to enjoy the bottle too much and too often, and he often finds himself on the wrong side of the law as well as the wrong side of those who he owes money Money he can never repay and so he resorts to petty theft, but ends up either drinking it away, or losing it one way or another, no matter his intentions And when he meets Della Miles she sees another side of him Over time, she is drawn to his poetic nature, his love of literature and eventually a love develops, slowly, unevenly, and with much back and forth, over time Each knowing that in this place and time, and because of these constructs of the world their love not approved by society their love would need to be hidden from the world For those who have read, and loved, Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead,Home,Lila this will be a must read, as the fourth novel in this collection For now, I am content to savor the moments I have found in reading Jack, rereading the many excerpts I have highlighted over and over again Jack is simply a lovely, beautifully shared reflection on life and love, and the salvation that is conveyed to us through love Pub Date: 29 Sep 2020Many thanks for the ARC provided by Farrar, Straus and Giroux via NetGalley

  • Hardcover
  • 320 pages
  • Jack
  • Marilynne Robinson
  • 05 December 2017
  • 9780771006036

About the Author: Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Summers Robinson (born November 26, 1943) is an American novelist and essayist Across her writing career, Robinson has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005, National Humanities Medal in 2012, and the 2016 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction In 2016, Robinson was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people.[2] Robinson be


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