Lila

Author
Marilynne Robinson
Year of publication
2014
When I read it
January 2015
What I thought

Beautiful, beautiful prose and deep characters. Lost my interest a bit towards the end.

Choice Highlights

The house was rank with sleep and the night was windy, full of tree sounds.

Well, Doll always said, Just do what you’re told and be quiet about it, that’s all anybody ever going to want from you. Lila had learned there was really more to it than that. But she was very quiet.

Everything she said seemed to surprise him a little. No wonder, when it surprised her, too.

She thought, What would I pray for, if I thought there was any point in it? Well, I guess the first thing would have to be that there was some kind of point in it.

It was just like before, and everything was different.

There was a kind of haste in his cheerfulness. She had hurt him, and he couldn’t quite hide it.

She understood the word “resurrection” to mean just what she wanted it to mean.

The old man would look into her face for sadness or weariness, and she would turn her face away, since there was no telling what he might see in it, her thoughts being what they were.

One time when you weren’t even walking yet he took you fishing with him. He had his pole and creel in his hand and you in the crook of his arm and he went off down the road in the morning sunshine, striding along like a younger man, talking to you, laughing. He came back an hour later and set the empty creel on the table and said, “We propped the pole and watched dragonflies. Then we got a little tired.” And what a look he gave her, in the sorrow of his happiness. He might as well have said, When he is old enough to understand, tell him about the day we went fishing.