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Home: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
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Home: A Novel (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Marilynne Robinson

Series: Gilead (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,901983,607 (3.95)423
Member:Goodlit
Title:Home: A Novel
Authors:Marilynne Robinson
Info:Picador (2009), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, female author, Orange Prize, 21st century, USA

Work details

Home by Marilynne Robinson (2008)

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» See also 423 mentions

English (97)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
We cannot help but be connected to our home, and our family, but those ties can bring pain as well as comfort. How do we live with those connections, and the burden that comes with them?

Beautiful. Robinson writes stunningly, and her books have characters with more depth than other authors can dream of achieving. The ideas and themes explored are fascinating, I will be mulling over this book for a long time to come. This book and Gilead are heavily interconnected, I wish I had read them back-to-back. Having not done so I'm sure I missed some things. Not all the threads of the story are resolved and the sadness the book engenders is wearisome, but these are minor complaints. Housekeeping is still my favorite of Robinson, but Home is a strong runner-up. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2381034.html

Seven years ago, I read and enjoyed the first book in the series, of which fortuitously the third has just been published. Home tells the same events, but this time from the point of view of the two adult children of Robert Boughton, the best friend of Gilead's narrator John Ames. I confess I didn't remember enough about Gilead to appreciate exactly which scenes in Home were being retold from another perspective, but in any case I enjoyed the moving characterisation and the clear slow pace of the writing, everything gradually being taken out and laid on the table to see, with a decent twist ending (which possibly was in the earlier book too; if so I had forgotten it). ( )
  nwhyte | Nov 21, 2014 |
In this sequel to the equally moving but very different Gilead, Robinson tells the heartbreaking tale of a young drifter forced to return to the uncompromisingly religious and intolerant small town he escaped. ( )
  bodachliath | Nov 11, 2014 |
I loved Housekeeping so I had great hopes for this book. I had my doubts early on but plodded on, despite all the religion. I enjoyed the family dynamics but really could have done with less religion. If this was my own copy and not that of the library, I probably would have torn it in half. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Aug 30, 2014 |
I think I waited too long after reading Gilead to read this companion novel. Gilead sucked me in from the moment I picked it up. The writing felt so new and so old at the same time. Home took me longer to give in to. Part of it may have been the closed circle of characters and the sadness, regret, and misunderstanding that permeates the entire novel. This novel views most of the same events as in Gilead, but from the Boughton's perspective, specifically Glory, Jack (the prodigal son), and their father. I found Jack just so sad and it made me so mad that he was so polite and passive and always apologizing and laughing nervously when I felt that though he had failed his family, they had failed him as well. The vision of him as a little boy, sitting up in the tree or out in the barn, listening to his family living their lives inside, and knowing that they were thinking he was off causing serious trouble somewhere - it's heartbreaking.

Again, I love Robinson's writing, it's just beautiful and really sucks you in. And she's amazing at developing characters without letting you know she's doing it. Things like, regarding Jack, And his head fell, and it was real regret. He was so tired of himself. Overall, I loved this book though not quite as deeply as I loved Gilead. Some day I'll read them again back to back to see if I feel differently. ( )
  japaul22 | Aug 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (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)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robinson, Marilynneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Noah and Elise and for Beatrice
First words
"Home to stay, Glory! Yes!" her father said, and her heart sank.
Quotations
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:44 -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)

(summary from another edition)

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