Jack: A Novel

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“You Don’t Know Jack” is a common saying. The reader of this book will definitely not know or understand Jack through this novel. The author’s three previous novels will probably define Jack better, but this reader had not known about the fame of that trilogy set in Gilead, Ohio. Even with my limited understanding of the setting and characters, this book stands alone as an interesting and compelling story about star crossed lovers. The lovers, Jack and Della have identical backgrounds and interests which draw them together. They also have strong societal and familial forces that push them apart. Jack and Della spend the night together in a cemetery after they are locked in by the night gate. They talk all night. They have found refuge among the dead who have no opinions on the propriety of their relationships. Della leads an exemplary life with strong family connections, albeit distant. Jack is a reprobate who cannot forgive himself for his past or come to terms with the present. Yet, this is a courtly love. He leaves roses for Della and keeps her books as talismans of her presence. This is a wonderfully written and compelling love story, especially fitting for the current times.


Reviewed By:

Author Marilynne Robinson
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date 2020-09-29
ISBN 9780374279301
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2020
Category Popular Fiction
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