Lila by Marilynne Robinson. Virago, 2015
This is the third book by Marilynne Robinson based in the town of Gilead, Iowa. Her previous books, being Gilead and Home. Using a few of the known characters from previous books; Pastor John Ames and introducing us to new characters as well; Lila and Doll being the main ones.
An almost abandoned child is rescued from her home and her neglectful family, by Doll, a drifter. It is Doll that gives the child the name of Lila. Doll and Lila wander the countryside for a number of years, Doll working in the farmers fields, tagging along with a group of drifters. Until the time comes when Doll can no longer look after Lila and Lila needs to find a way to look after herself.
Lila finds her way to Gilead and there she meets Pastor John Ames. Although Lila is much younger than Ames she wants to marry him. From the marriage comes a child, a daughter. Lila and Ames live a quiet, reserved life, but find comfort is each other’s presence. Although Lila continues to struggle with her past life and her feelings on belonging to the new life, she begins to settle with Ames after the birth of their unexpected daughter.
A delightful story, of gentle narrative, bringing together the old town and its people and integrating new characters, such as Lila.
I have fallen in love again with Marilynn Robinson’s words and her characters too. I cannot wait for the next book.