Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lost in a Good Book

I enjoyed the opportunity this morning to get together with fifteen people who wanted to discuss books. There is a long established book club at St. Paul's and the members meet monthly to chat, argue and muse over novels and other books chosen by participants. I offered to come and facilitate a conversation about the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson and its companion, Home.

These two novels are anything but "easy reads." Robinson finely crafts her stories, but they are demanding. The group was up to the task and they provided a host of insights into the characters and the bigger story of two families in a small Iowa town called Gilead.

I enjoy novels for the entertainment, the opportunity to become immersed in other worlds, and the challenge of seeing the world differently through a narrative.

What I appreciated about these two novels is the way they fill out the parable of the Prodigal Son. As meaningful as this story of Jesus is, it is rather tidy. Life is usually messy, as Gilead and and Home point out.

Have you read these novels? Did you see the theme of the lost child who returns home? Why do you read?


Susan said...

David - thanks for the recommendation, I have not read these two books but I will add them to my books to read list and check the library for them.
I read because books take me out of myself and out of my limited worldview and they offer me insights, ideas, and differing perspectives. Books give me the opportunity to grow, to learn, and to become more than what I am.
I always have a book with me, I lose track of time when I am in a bookstore, and my father swore that I would always find something to read even if it was the cereal box! Eventually, I discovered that cereal boxes make very interesting reading :).

lionlamb said...

And the boxes allow you to practice your French as well! Thanks.