Part of our Capstone was to present a poster as a visual promotion of our common read book suggestion. Considering the many women that have made Maria College the special place it is, it was important to me to choose an award-winning female author to share with the Maria community. Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2005. This novel will allow Maria’s readers to gain insight through the retrospective story of John Ames, a man who examines life’s greatest prizes and pitfalls as he writes the words that will speak to his young son after he passes on.
For students seeking a reading experience that brings into focus Maria College’s prioritization of compassion and social justice, Gilead will emphasize why they matter and help students discern the difference between a job and a vocation. The poster contains symbols of some of the areas of life pondered by the narrator and depicts those that rise to the top of the spirit; those that will always be fruitful; and some better put aside among the scattered memories. My favorite lines from the book are, “Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see.”