Readers of Marilynne Robinson’s previous award-winning Gilead novels already know Jack—the troubled son who left that titular Iowa town, thus abandoning a local woman and their child; a disgrace to his Presbyterian minister father; a charming miscreant. But readers have had to wait until the fourth installment to truly live with him. Here, he’s aging, drinking and self-destructing in postwar St. Louis—and eventually falling in love with a Black school teacher named Della, a fellow poetry lover. Their illicit romance falls in a time of miscegenation laws—allowing the Pulitzer Prize–winning author to return her insightful gaze to the subject of racism, as the two risk themselves for each other.
You have reached your limit of 4 free articles.Subscribe Now