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Lila (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic) by…
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Lila (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic) (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Marilynne Robinson (Author)

Series: Gilead (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,1561066,184 (4.06)279
Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church -- the only available shelter from the rain -- and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the days of suffering that preceded her newfound security. Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand-to-mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a ragged blade to protect them. But despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life is laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to harmonize the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband that paradoxically judges those she loves.… (more)
Member:scaryaadillo
Title:Lila (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic)
Authors:Marilynne Robinson (Author)
Info:Thorndike Press (2014), Edition: Lrg, 390 pages
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Lila by Marilynne Robinson (2014)

  1. 10
    Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín (charl08)
    charl08: In both novels, key character faces new, difficult choices in new places. Both beautifully written, compelling.
  2. 00
    Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers (Philosofiction)
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» See also 279 mentions

English (100)  Italian (2)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
As I usually find with Robinson's books, I had to slow down and read this at a much more leisurely pace than I normally would. The language and the story, I find, work best when savored. Another wonderful addition to this slowly unfolding family saga. ( )
  JBD1 | Aug 13, 2022 |
Some works of fiction are wonderful. They make us laugh, cry, sing. We love their style, their plot, their characters. But, occasionally, a work of fiction steps beyond that and becomes important. It tells us something; something we know but cannot express. It informs us about the human condition, the human spirit, the things that make existence, life itself, worthwhile and meaningful. This is one of those novels. It is one of three, which taken in their totality, are the stuff that true enduring classics are made of.

[b:Lila|20575411|Lila (Gilead, #3)|Marilynne Robinson|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1393645345s/20575411.jpg|26208371] is written in the same kind of stream of consciousness style that we encounter in [b:Gilead|68210|Gilead (Gilead, #1)|Marilynne Robinson|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1451555787s/68210.jpg|2481792]. It is Lila’s view of the events that John has already told us about, but expanded and tempered by the addition of Lila’s background story and her own inward tumult. Here is loneliness, in its most cavernous garb, imposed by life experience and then self-imposed for self-protection. Here is longing and loving and fear and need and fright and tenderness and thanksgiving and disbelief and grief and, surely, grace.

How can anyone wade in these waters and not come out baptized in the knowledge of what it is to be human? How can Robinson touch on nerves so raw and still show us that there is good in every person if you stop to find it? What if the person who understands life the best is the one who has suffered the most and been offered the least? And, what if things that look horrible on the outside spring from the sweetest of intentions and motivations, or the fate of every individual is tied up in being seen by someone else, when you are invisible to the rest of the world? If these are not the books to read at this time of civil misunderstanding, I cannot think what books would be. This is a portrait of what it is to be the dispossessed and forgotten and what it is to look beneath the surface and discover that we are all fashioned of the same blood and tissue and fear and need.

I will be digesting this book and its brothers for a long, long time. I will re-read them soon, because there is no way that you can read them once and absorb everything there is in them that matters. The Pulitzer doesn’t always get it right, but Marilynne Robinson is a writer of such caliber that I cannot doubt they got it right when they handed the prize to her.

Goodreads will only let me give these books 5-stars, but they are, for me, what Milton and Pope and Shakespeare are--they are books that will not wear out with time and will have something important to say hundreds of years later.
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Lila wound up as my favorite of the three books in the Gilead series. Her life in this novel is a flower beginning to blossom. I could relate to her in so many ways that I couldn't relate to any of the other characters. I wouldn't dare feel sorry for her or shed tears for her.

I didn't want this book to end. ( )
  rabbit-stew | Jun 26, 2022 |
a little tedious to be honest but has moments of almost alarming gorgeousness ( )
  boredgames | May 13, 2022 |
The author writes so well! The story is about a young woman who had an abused childhood, then, after being rescued by a friendly woman, lived with this adoptive mother in poverty until adulthood. Then she went through some violence, encountering her indifferent blood family, losing her adoptive mother. Then she went through prostitution, fell in love, lost the will to live, and wandered in destitute. Then, in a church in rural Iowa, she met an elderly pastor who fell in love with her at first sight. So did she. They married. She struggle with trust issues. She struggled with tenets of the Christian faith. She struggled with living a comfortable life and being loved. And -- he redeemed her. The author writes so, so well. The book is about this long process of her redemption, with a sweet ending.

I did wish Lila would have come to faith because of the content of faith itself, not because of her husband's faith and because she loved and trusted him. But in my personal experience, this is indeed how many (probably most!) people come to faith. The knowledge and understanding catches up later. So it's a realistic depiction. ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
With Lila, Marilynne Robinson completes her mythic cycle, this intimate portrait of an imaginary town filled with very real people. Like her forebears James Joyce, William Faulkner and William Kennedy, among others, Robinson has created a world unto itself, as cleanly evoked as Dublin, Yoknapatawpha County or Albany; only in Robinson’s case, her alternate universe is one of the blessed places of the earth.
 
You don’t need an ounce of faith to be stunned and moved by Lila. God has never been so attractive as he is in Robinson’s depiction, but her heart is with the human experience, in all its forms. 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. Robinson writes Lila in a mystifyingly impressive amalgam of recollection and spontaneously unfolding thought. Sometimes you feel the ideas are being born fresh on the page, and yet they also contain a depth of thinking and feeling that only years of work can summon. Taken together, with Lila as the culmination, these books will surely be read and known in time as one of the great achievements of contemporary literature. An embarrassingly grand statement for such gentle, graceful work.
added by zhejw | editThe Guardian, Sophie Elmhirst (Oct 12, 2014)
 
Robinson shakes her finger at whoever she thinks needs to learn a lesson. I’m not saying that great novelists haven’t done this before (see “War and Peace”), only that it didn’t necessarily benefit their work. Robinson writes about religion two ways. One is meliorist, reformist. The other is rapturous, visionary. Many people have been good at the first kind; few at the second kind, at least today.

The second kind is Robinson’s forte.
 
Robinson’s determination to shed light on these complexities—the solitude that endures inside intimacy, the sorrow that persists beside joy—marks her as one of those rare writers genuinely committed to contradiction as an abiding state of consciousness. Her characters surprise us with the depth and ceaseless wrinkling of their feelings.
added by melmore | editThe Atlantic, Leslie Jamison (Sep 17, 2014)
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robinson, Marilynneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoffman, MaggienNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kampmann, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Gilead (3)

Belongs to Publisher Series

Mirmanda (134)
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The child was just there on the stoop in the dark, hugging herself against the cold, all cried out and nearly sleeping.
Quotations
What could the old man say about all those people born with more courage than they could find a way to spend and then there was nothing to do with it but just get by?
And the old man did look as though every blessing he had forgotten to hope for had descended on him all at once, for the time being.
He was happier than he wanted her to see, relieved even though he knew it was too soon to trust that they were safe yet, and worried that he was too ready to be happy and relieved. After breakfast he set a little glass bowl on the porch railing to catch some snow as it fell, and when he saw it had stopped falling, he took the bowl out to the rosebushes to pluck snow that had caught in the brambles. He brought it inside and set it on the windowsill so the sun would melt it. It was pretty the way the light made kind of a little flame, floating in the middle of the water, burning away in there cold as could be. It was for christening the child, she knew without asking. If the child came struggling into the world, that water would be ready for him. If it had to be his only blessing, then it would be a pure and lovely blessing. That was the old man getting ready to make the best of the worst that could happen. Not my will but thine. In his sermons he was always reminding himself of that prayer.
You are right not to talk. It's a sort of higher honesty, I think. Once you start talking, there's no telling what you'll say (p. 20).
Clean an acceptable. It would be something to know what that felt like, even for an hour or two (p. 67)
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Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church -- the only available shelter from the rain -- and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the days of suffering that preceded her newfound security. Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand-to-mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a ragged blade to protect them. But despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life is laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to harmonize the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband that paradoxically judges those she loves.

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