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It's 1956 in Gilead, Iowa, towards the end of the Reverend John Ames's life. The son and grandson of preachers, he is absorbed in recording his family's story, a legacy for the young child he will never see grow up. Haunted by his grandfather's presence, John tells of the rift between his grandfather and his father: the elder, an angry visionary who fought for the abolitionist cause, and his son, an ardent pacifist. He is troubled, too, by his prodigal namesake, Jack (John Ames) Boughton, his best friend's lost son who returns to Gilead searching for a salvation the town might not hold. Told in John Ames's joyous, rambling voice that finds beauty, humor and truth in the smallest of life's details, Gilead is a wonderful, heartfelt song of celebration and acceptance of the best and the worst the world has to offer. At its heart is a tale of the sacred bonds between fathers and sons, pitch-perfect in style and story.