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Home by Marilynne Robinson

Home (2008)

by Marilynne Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Gilead (2)

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2,2871162,784 (3.95)502
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English (116)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
This is the second in her series about Gilead, based at same time as home but seen through the eyes of the Boughton family. Reverend Boughton, is the elderly Presbyterian friend of Rev. Amwes who maried Lila. He's had a happy life, with 7 children, but his younger son Jack was always a tear away, an outsider and has caused him a lot of worry and upset. Rev.Boughton is now a widower and on his last legs, His daughter,Glory, 38 and single,has returned home to care for him. Jack returns not having seen them for 20 years. The book is a quietly moving story of faith and forgiveness and has a solemn beauty.
  WhiteAsSnow | Oct 23, 2016 |
Having loved [Gilead] when I read it back in 2011, it will probably come as no surprise to Marilynne Robinson fans out there that Home was a perfect read for me, although you might be wondering why the heck it took me so long to get around to reading Robinson’s second book in her the loosely connected Gilead series – if it can be called a series, that is, given that the common thread is the setting (Gilead). Trust me, I am wondering the same thing! Like Gilead, Home is a rather sedate/reflective piece of work, written in a calming, contemplative tone, that seems perfectly fitting for the time period . The themes of judgement, salvation, redemption, grace as well as whether or not people can change, ripple through the pages. What I find fascinating is that both books – Gilead and Home – are set in the same place and time: small town Gilead, Iowa, in 1956, and yet I seem to recall a very different vibe/perspective when I read Gilead. I found Home to be a better read, for a number of reasons: the overall flow of the story, the omniscient narration, the strong sense of family and the evocative presentation of small town life so remotely removed (both mentally and figuratively) from big events like the civil rights movement. Having personally experienced the return of a wayward family member - wayward in the sense of distancing themselves from the family for a number of years - I found the conversations between Jack and Glory, and Jack and his father, was a poignantly moving experience for me. While there is a lot of sadness in Home, a lot of kindness and gentleness also shines through.

On the whole, I found Home to be an emotionally demanding and deeply satisfying read. Definitely one I know I will re-read at some point in the future. ( )
1 vote lkernagh | Sep 25, 2016 |
The writing style was beautiful, but I just could not connect to this book. I started to connect toward the end, but then...it ended. It took me so much more time than I thought to read it. So much so, that I probably should have abandoned it. Oh, well. ( )
  EllAreBee | Sep 19, 2016 |
Story of Jack, the son of minister who is a friend of the friend of the minister in Gilead ( )
  JanetRodgers | Sep 8, 2016 |
Accomplished writing, 20 Jun. 2012
sally tarbox

This review is from: Home (Paperback)
A story of a few months in the life of frail elderly Reverend Boughton in 1950s Iowa; his daughter Glory, having had disappointments in her own life, comes home to care for him, followed shortly after by her complex alcoholic brother Jack. Very little happens really, the significance is in the conversations and development of the characters - somehow it put me in mind of Ivy Compton-Burnett's style.
It took me quite a while to get into the non-action and care about the characters, but I would certainly give the other books in the trilogy a go. ( )
  starbox | Jul 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
The glories of Gilead - and of Housekeeping, for that matter - have not quite found their way into Home. One reason for this may be Robinson's decision to write in the third person for the first time, thus suppressing one of her great gifts, which is the mix of wryness, wisdom and self-deprecation with which she infused her first two narrators' voices.
But what remains is Gilead's sense of how character, however unkindly, determines one's fate, which in Home arrives silently but powerfully, like a glacier leaving a raw gash in the landscape. Robinson's output may also be glacial, but the force her words leave in her wake is unmistakable.
added by melmore | editNPR, Lizzie Skurnick (Sep 19, 2008)
These ugly facts [of small-town racism] complicate the beauty of “Home,” but the way Robinson embeds them in the novel is part of what makes it so beautiful. It 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.
added by melmore | editNew York Times, A. O. Scott (Sep 19, 2008)
The Reverend Boughton, is in decline. Glory, the youngest of his eight children, has come home to care for him, and both are grateful and alarmed when Jack, the prodigal son, reappears after an excruciating 20-year absence. Once a charming scoundrel, Jack is now riddled with regrets and despair. As she cares for two broken men struggling toward reconciliation and redemption, Glory is a paragon of patience, a virtue readers also must cultivate as Robinson follows an austere narrative regime, confining the reader to the day-by-day present and the Boughton home. Household chores are infused with metaphysical implications, while what is not said carries more weight than what is spoken. Robinson wrestles with moral dilemmas ordinary and catastrophic, and ponders the mystery of why human beings never feel wholly at home on earth. This is a rigorous, sometimes claustrophobic, yet powerfully spiritual novel of anguish and prayer, wisdom and beauty, penance and hope.
added by kthomp25 | editBooklist, Donna Seaman

» Add other authors (5 possible)

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Robinson, Marilynneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Noah and Elise and for Beatrice
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"Home to stay, Glory! Yes!" her father said, and her heart sank.
The house embodied for him the general blessedness of his life, which was manifest, really indisputable. And which he never failed to acknowledge, especially when it stood over against particular sorrow. Even more frequently after their mother died he spoke of the house as if it were an old wife, beautiful for every comfort it had offered, ever grace, through all the long years. It was a beauty that would not be apparent to every eye.
”Yes,” the old man said, as he did when memory stirred. “Those were good times.”
No, it's a feeling I have always had, almost since you were a baby. As though there was something you needed from me and I never figured out what it was. … I just never knew another child who didn't feel at home in the house where he was born.
They had always been so careful of him, almost afraid to touch him. There was an aloofness about him more thoroughgoing than modesty or reticence. It was feral, and fragile. It had enforced a peculiar decorum on them all, even on their mother. There was always the moment when they acknowledged this – no hugging, no roughhousing could include him. Even his father patted his shoulder tentatively, shy and cautious. Whey should a child have defended his loneliness that way? But let him have his ways, their father said, or he would be gone. He'd smile at them across that distance, and the smile was sad and hard, and it meant estrangement, even when he was with them.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374299102, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: "What does it mean to come home?" In one way or another, every character in Home is searching for that answer. Glory Boughton, now 38 and lovelorn, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Her wayward brother Jack also finds his way back, though his is an uneasy homecoming, reverberating with the scandal that drove him away twenty years earlier. Glory and Jack unravel their stories slowly, speaking to each other more in movements than in words--a careful glance here, a chair pulled out from the table there--against a domestic backdrop so richly imagined you may be fooled into believing their house is your own. Meanwhile, their father, whose ebullient love for his children is a welcome counterpoint to Glory and Jack's conflicted emotions, experiences his own kind of reckoning as he yearns to understand his troubled son. There is a simplicity to this story that belies the complexity of its characters--they are bound together by a profound capacity for love and by an equally powerful sense of private conviction that tries the ties that bind, but never breaks them. It's a delicate sort of tension that you think would resist exposition--and in fact these characters seem to want nothing more than, as Glory says, to treat "one another's deceptions like truth"--but Marilynne Robinson's fine, tender prose imbues this family's secrets with an overwhelming grace. --Anne Bartholomew

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:53 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Glory Boughton, aged thirty-eight, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Soon her brother, Jack--the prodigal son of the family, gone for twenty years--comes home too, looking for refuge and trying to make peace with a past littered with tormenting trouble and pain.… (more)

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