Gilead is a novel written by Marilynne Robinson that was published in 2004. Gilead won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. Gilead is an epistolary novel that is the fictional autobiography of the Reverend John Ames, an elderly congregationalist pastor in the small, secluded town of Gilead, Iowa, who knows that he is dying of a heart condition. At the beginning of the book, the date is established as 1956, and Ames explains that he is writing an account of his life for his seven-year-old son, who will have few memories of him. (Wikipedia)
As recommended on From the Front Porch, episode 110, "The Virtue of Occasional Sadness."