Gilead by Marilynne RobinsonRead about another entry on the list.
Robinson’s Pulitzer prize-winning, epistolary novel is written as the autobiography of Reverend John Ames, who is dying of a heart condition and hopes the words will be a legacy for his seven-year-old son. An exploration of faith and vocation, Ames is perhaps the most sympathetic of all our clerics, and, like all the best characters, he will settle in your mind and refuse to leave. Ames’s quiet wisdom offers a view of religion for the non-religious, but perhaps all our literary clerics could learn from him. There is magic hidden amongst the mundane, and God can truly be found in the most unlikely of places.
Gilead is on The Telegraph's list of eight books every dad should read, Allegra Frazier's top five list of diary novels, Michael Arditti's ten best list of fictional clerics, Ayad Akhtar's list of three notable books on faith in the US, Michael Crummey's top ten list of literary feuds and Geraldine Brooks's five most important books list; it is a book Dalia Sofer would like to share with her children.
Also see: Top ten novels about priests; Top ten wicked priests in fiction.