Housekeeping: A Novel

Marilynne Robinson
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.


Reviewed: 2021-05-19
I'm sure I would have loved this novel had it been written by anyone else, but because I read Robinson's [b:Gilead|68210|Gilead A Novel|Marilynne Robinson||2481792] first, this was a disappointment. That says less about Housekeeping than Gilead, which you should read (Go on, order it right now. I'll wait). Gilead is a stunning, quiet, beautiful book. The biggest surprise for me was how much I appreciated and identified with the main character, who is everything I'm not: old, dying, religious, male.
Reviewed: 2015-10-31
I'm three pages into this book, and I can already tell - it's gonna be good.

Finished! What a luminous book. Achingly sad, magically told. This is some of the best prose in print.

There's not terribly much to the story line, actually - a touching story of a sad family. But the richness of the language is beyond description. Not a word out of place.
Reviewed: 2015-07-15

Although I'm sure not everyone would agree, I consider Marilyn Robinson's work reminiscent to Faulkner. I found the reading for the most part laborious, but beautifully written. I didn't feel that there was much of a plot within the book, but there was a beautifully written story. The characters are richly drawn, each lending a distinctive voice to the tale.

As I said, many parts were tedious to get through and although that sounds like a negative, it's not. In the end, story was most definitely worth it.

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