Home by Marilynne Robinson is a companion book to her earlier work, Gilead: A Novel. Gilead, which I have not read, won a Pulitizer Prize. Having enjoyed Home so much, I may now pick-up Gilead.
Home is intelligent, engaging, and wonderfully well-written. Set in 1957, Robinson packs a punch with just a few characters and a simple location, the Iowa home of the Pastor Robert Boughton, retired. The Pastor is elderly, ill, and a widower. One of his eight children, 38-year old Glory, comes home to care for him. For Glory, this is a task of love, but one that marks her defeat in trying to create a life for herself in the world. Shortly after Glory returns, her brother Jack arrives home. Jack led a wild and scandalous youth and then essentially disappeared from the Boughton family for over 20 years. Much of Jack's adult life has been rough, with even the happiest times difficult to live in 1950s America.
Jack, Glory and their father, along with their father's life-long friend, Rev. John Ames, are the core actors in this book. Robinson skillfully weaves together the story of what happened to these characters in the past with the story of how they now cope together. This terrific book offers much to think about.
Home is recommended reading.
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