Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
There are certain books that are best listened to, and for me, this is one of them. I started reading the novel twice, convinced I would love the book (it was set in Iowa and had a Civil War connection) – but I could not get past the first few pages. Finally, in desperation, I checked out the audiobook. Bingo. Narrator Tim Jerome made the story come to life. The story is told by John Ames, an elderly Iowa minister in the 1950s, who is writing to his young son, to tell him the family stories he would have told him if he were to live to see his son grow to adulthood. He tells the story of his abolitionist grandfather, his own courtship of his much younger wife, his efforts to preach sermons that convey truth, and his struggle to control his jealousy of a younger man who appears to be stealing the affections of his wife and son. This book is filled with longing and pain and hope – and with tremendous love.