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The New York Times BestsellerWinner of the National Book Critics Circle AwardNational Book Award FinalistA new American classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead and HousekeepingMarilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, returns to the town of Gilead in an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder. 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 life 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. Despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life was laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to reconcile the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves. Revisiting the beloved characters and setting of Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead and Home, a National Book Award finalist, Lila is a moving expression of the mysteries of existence that is destined to become an American classic.
“Writing in lovely, angular prose that has the high loneliness of an old bluegrass tune, Ms. Robinson has created a balladlike story . . . The novel is powerful and deeply affecting . . . Ms. Robinson renders [Lila's] tale with the stark poetry of Edward Hopper or Andrew Wyeth.” ―Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times“Lila is a book whose grandeur is found in its humility. That's what makes Gilead among the most memorable settings in American fiction . . . Gilead [is] a kind of mythic everyplace, a quintessential national setting where our country's complicated union with faith, in all its degrees of constancy and skepticism, is enacted.” ―Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal“My message is simple. Even if you haven't found the two previous books to your taste, give Lila a try . . . what we get . . . is the highest fictional magic: a character who seems so real, it's hard to remember that she exists only in the page of this book.” ―John Wilson, Chicago Tribune“Lila, Marilynne Robinson's remarkable new novel, stands alone as a book to read and even read again. It's both a multilayered love story and a perceptive look at how early deprivation causes lasting damage . . . Robinson is a novelist of the first order.” ―Ellen Heltzel, The Seattle Times“Grade: A Emotionally and intellectually challenging, it's an exploration of faith in God, love, and whatever else it takes to survive.” ―Entertainment Weekly“Gorgeous writing, an absolutely beautiful book . . . This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Robinson, a novelist who can make the most quotidian moments epic because of her ability to peel back the surfaces of ordinary lives . . . [a] profound and deeply rendered novel.” ―David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times“Marilynne Robinson is one of the great religious novelists, not only of our age, but any age . . . Not even gorgeous is a strong enough word for what grandeur charges the pages of Lila.” ―Casey Cep, New Republic“Written in beautiful, precise language, [Lila] glows like a banked fire that provides steady illumination. Lila should prompt first-time Robinson readers to track down her other works.” ―Martha Woodall, Philadelphia Inquirer“Set aside the idea that Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson's groundbreaking 1980 debut novel, should be on anyone's short list for the Great American Novel . . . It's just as well to open Lila with no preconceptions and just