Lila and the Religious Novelist

Here’s a great review from The New Republic of Marilynne Robinson’s highly acclaimed latest novel, Lila:

Marilynne Robinson is one of the great religious novelists, not only of our age, but any age. Reading her new novel Lila, one wonders how critics could worry that American fiction has lost its faith, though such worries make one think there might well have been wedding guests at Cana who complained about the shortage of water after witnessing the miracle with wine.

Lila, like Home and Gilead before it, is set in a small Midwestern town. It is not a prequel or sequel or any of those awkward things novelists sometimes write when expanding their fictional worlds, but a companion to those earlier works. Like the Gospels, Robinson’s Iowa novels tell the same story several ways: at first from the perspective of the dying Reverend John Ames; then from the view of the devoted daughter of Ames’s best friend, Reverend Robert Boughton; and now finally in the voice of Ames’s second wife, Lila Dahl. While before Robinson focused her narratives on pastors and prodigals, now she writes from the perspective of a convert.

Read the rest here.

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