Friday 29 May 2015

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

2 out of 5 stars

Lila is an orphan. Her story starts when she is rescued by Doll. The adventure that these women embark upon – struggling for survival in post-Depression United States is narrated, concurrently with Lila’s ending – which is in Gilead with elderly preacher John Ames.

I listened to this book on Audible, and found the story disjointed – the order jumping without rhyme or reason. It left me frustrated and at times, confused, and reluctant to continue.

Lila is born to atheists, and there is not much hope evident in her early years, which means that she comes to the Calvinist doctrines that Ames proposes more than a little jaded. The writing is beautiful – the prose exceptional, and it was for this reason that I persevered. Also worth reading was the gentle, warm relationship that blossoms slowly and surely – I found that beautifully told.

As another reviewer (Douglas Wilson) put it: “While Lila was interesting, the narrative got a bit lost in the brambly hedges of the MidWest countryside, along with the theology.”

You will like this book if you enjoy authors like Jane Smiley (see my review of Some Luck) and other rambling stories of life in the mid-West.

ISBN:  9780374187613

You may also enjoy...Some Luck by Jane Smiley or The last Road Trip by Gareth Crocker

Here are all my reviews and recommendations.


Heidi and Darrell Bergesen and kids said...

I picked this up at a sale - what a waste of R29....

Bev Bouwer said...

Agree with you Heidi. I couldn't believe it made the long list for the Booker prize this year. I'm done with these rambling American tales.