Thursday, January 15, 2015
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
The story includes the preacher, John Ames, who is a constant in all three books, and focuses on his young wife, Lila. Lila is a furious outsider, a woman with a hard life that included a stint in a St Louis whorehouse. She was rescued as a neglected child by Doll, an old woman who cared for her and took her on the road with a what amounted to a traveling work gang. They toiled in the fields and slept beneath the stars and for a year, while Doll managed to put Lila through school. Eventually they parted, and Lila, after miserable years alone, found her way by chance to Gilead and an unlikely husband. They each believe that they are unworthy of the other, and in that space they make a life together that is better than either of them is apart. Lila and Ames are lonely souls, worn out by sadness and suffering, but they learn how to be together and find salvation, of a sort.