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A. O. ScottHome and Gilead are marvelous novels about family, friendship and aging. But they are great novels—or perhaps two installments in a single, as yet unfinished great novel—about race and religion in American life…[Home] is a book unsparing in its acknowledgment of sin and unstinting in its belief in the possibility of grace. It is at once hard and forgiving, bitter and joyful, fanatical and serene. It is a wild, eccentric, radical work of literature that grows out of the broadest, most fertile, most familiar native literary tradition. What a strange old book it is.
—The New York Times