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Housekeeping: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
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Housekeeping: A Novel (original 1981; edition 2004)

by Marilynne Robinson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,2681381,161 (3.95)352
Member:dbvisel
Title:Housekeeping: A Novel
Authors:Marilynne Robinson
Info:Picador (2004), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:fiction, american

Work details

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1981)

  1. 10
    Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (sturlington)
  2. 10
    The Swimmer by Zsuzsa Bánk (Emydidae)
  3. 00
    A Student of Weather by Elizabeth Hay (Miels)
    Miels: Both are lyrical, heavily atmospheric novels. Both concern the relationship between a strange, bookish protagonist and her more sensible sister. In Robinson's book, it's an eccentric aunt who comes between them. In Hay's, it's a charming, seductive man. Both books are very much about love, loss, social ostracism, and ephemeral/elemental beauty.… (more)
  4. 00
    Surfacing by Margaret Atwood (cransell)
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English (135)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
I am in the minority. Well crafted and with beautiful prose. She writes very desriptively. I just didn't like the story itself and couldn't wait for it to be finished. I kept wondering what the point of the story even was. ( )
  2kidsandtired | Aug 2, 2016 |
I am in the minority. Well crafted and with beautiful prose. She writes very desriptively. I just didn't like the story itself and couldn't wait for it to be finished. I kept wondering what the point of the story even was. ( )
  2kidsandtired | Aug 2, 2016 |
Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping was an impulse read. I had not heard much of her or her work, but the cover was intriguing, and the reviews on the back of the book suggested it would be well-written. I am happy it found its way to me.

For anyone who has ever felt abandoned, this book does a great job of explaining, in some depth, the varieties of feelings that can emerge as a reaction to being left behind. If you prefer fast-paced, plot-driven books, don't expect that from this one. It is a very introspective analysis of a few characters, as they work to understand their places in society and how to cope with the impermanence of the people around them.

The language was beautiful, but at times required reading multiple times to fully grasp. In my reading, I felt a deep melancholy thread running throughout the entire narrative. This tone left me waiting for something terrible to happen. In the end, something that many readers may view as terrible does finally occur, but the book challenges the reader to examine whether this is indeed a negative outcome or if your narrow-minded expectations of people lead you to feel that way. ( )
  jessicamhill | Jul 24, 2016 |
I think it is my favourite of all her books. There are times when you feel you may be lost in the words, the imagery is intense, poetic and profound, but shoulder on, because what is achieved in understanding is priceless. ( )
  a_forester | Jul 6, 2016 |
I tried to listen to the audiobook. I sat myself down with a basket of mending, and when the mending was done, I thought to myself, Ok, there's two chores done. I have examined a paper copy and I see that I got to p. 48 - more than 20%, which is a good sample I believe - and that was definitely all the time I wanted to spend with those people in that world. As Chandra says in her review, it just didn't ring true and was surreal and also, though beautifully written, depicting of ugliness. The narrator was fine, but not ideal imo, and couldn't quite save it for me.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
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For my husband,
and for James and Joseph, Jody and Joel,
four wonderful boys.
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My name is Ruth.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312424094, Paperback)

A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town "chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere." Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:12 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone, which is set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town "chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere." Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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