Marilynne Robinson is a wonderful writer. Her books of essays are thoughtful and profound. But it is this novel that is her best work. The main character, Ames, is an aging midwestern preacher who realizes he is not going to live long enough to see his son grow up. Because of his, he writes letters to his son. Through these letters we see him wrestling with his own life accomplishments, as well as the return to town of his good friend’s estranged son. I often like epic fantasy, good vs. evil, grand battles of light over darkness. This story reflects real life and tears your heart strings. Its brilliant.