Gilead

Robinson, Marilynne

Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2004

p. 121

The 76-year-old minister John Ames writes a letter to his 7-year-old son Robby (to be saved and read by Robby when he grows up).  Ames had spent many years as a single pastor, in between marriages.  During this time, women from church would walk freely into the parsonage and leave him a casserole, or baked goods, or other provisions.  Then Ames remarried.  A certain trouble ensued: “When your mother and I got married, it was a little hard for people to learn that they couldn’t just come and go anymore.  They suspected she was not a cook, I believe, and in fact she was not, so they kept coming in the door with their casseroles until I realized it upset her, and then I spoke with them about it.  I found her crying in the pantry one evening.  Someone had come in and changed the pull cord on the light and put down new paper on the shelves.  It was kindly intended, but not considerate, I realize that.”