On 16 November, Open Book took a group of its readers from St Joseph’s Care Home to hear Marilynne Robinson read from her new book, Lila. Here’s what one of our readers, Eileen, wrote about the event:
“A capacity audience filled the Roxburgh Hall, the platform dressed in black stage curtains, with spotlights focussed on a table spread with appropriate texts and around it the places prepared for the protagonists, for her audiences had come to listen to the dialogue between Marilynne Robinson and the erudite and urbane critic discussing Lila, which judging by the enthusiastic response of the listeners to her presence, her body of writing was much favoured by them.
Lila is the story of the relationship between the enigmatic but instinctively clever and courteous “Doll” who raised the child she had stolen to contented maturity despite offering her much of the time a hand to routine existence, until eventually she was able to make her own way to a mature and stable emotional relationship with a cleric whose kindness and integrity she recognised and appreciated.
She raised their child for an uncertain future, in which Lila learned to accept the kindness of others, particularly that of the church workers who saw her need and did their best to satisfy them.
She managed without the help of Doll, reading and studying the Bible, drawing strength from it, satisfying her intellectual curiosity through her husband with some concern for their future.
It is an unusual story but judging by the queue of men and women waiting to have their copies of her book signed it is a book which as appealed to many.”