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?