➨ Home Ebook ➮ Author Marilynne Robinson – Horse-zine.co.uk

Home pdf Home, ebook Home, epub Home, doc Home, e-pub Home, Home 28a6d8cf567 Home Parallels The Story Told In Robinson S Pulitzer Prize Winning Gilead It Is A Moving And Healing Book About Families, Family Secrets, And The Passing Of The Generations, About Love And Death And FaithHundreds Of Thousands Were Enthralled By The Luminous Voice Of John Ames In Gilead Marilynne Robinson S Pulitzer Prize Winning Novel Home Is An Entirely Independent, Deeply Affecting Novel That Takes Place Concurrently In The Same Locale, This Time In The Household Of Reverend Robert Boughton, Ames S Closest Friend 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 Jack Is One Of The Great Characters In Recent Literature A Bad Boy From Childhood, An Alcoholic Who Cannot Hold A Job, He Is Perpetually At Odds With His Surroundings And With His Traditionalist Father, Though He Remains Boughton S Most Beloved Child Brilliant, Lovable, And Wayward, Jack Forges An Intense Bond With Glory And Engages Painfully With Ames, His Godfather And Namesake Home Is A Moving And Healing Book About Families, Family Secrets, And The Passing Of The Generations, About Love And Death And Faith It Is Robinson S Greatest Work, An Unforgettable Embodiment Of The Deepest And Most Universal Emotions

10 thoughts on “Home

  1. says:

    Is it even POSSIBLE that this is one of the BEST FICTION BOOKS ever written about what HOME represents in our lives the good the bad and the ugly even those last three words don t really fit but it communicates quickly for short review purposes HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS not always YOU CAN NEVER RETURN HOME sometimes you can HOME.has a deep emotional meaning and our memories of.love, life, family opinions and feeling, anger, grief, regrets, betrayal, friendships, joy, religious beliefs, assumptions, forgiveness, judgments and prejudices, foods, books, gardening, secrets, sins, accomplishments, disappointments, finances, illness hurts, blessings, sadness, on and on and it s ALL explored in HOME HOME also represents our success and failures with our PARENTS SIBLINGS HOME provides safety and comfort not always for each family member HOME is a way of understanding ourselves and the way the world is constructed around us our egos, our spirituality, our knowledge, our awareness, our integrity, and humanity In Marilynne Robinson s HOME I was able to imagine myself being each of the characters I could imagine being Glory the young woman who returns home to care for her father a temporary refuge from her own problems OrJack, the wrongdoer pegged black sheep of the family OrPAPAReverend Boughtonsick, old, dying, a widower These characters, and minor characters become real people to us The dialogue engages us The writing is beautiful and brilliant and provokes looking within A Wonderful book from which I drew strength 5 stars Ok this got a little too long out the door to walk I m retired Lol

  2. says:

    I don t think I have ever read a novel that so accurately describes the thoughts and actions and motivations of human beings There was not one false note in this entire book People acted in this book how they actually do in real life at least in my experience Their feelings of love and anger and self hate were so acute, I often found myself relating to each character than once Maybe some of this comes from where I am emotionally right now somewhere teetering between hope and devastation I am struggling with these two emotions every day, every minute, as are than one of the characters in this book Characters who have had their dreams dashed or have never let themselves think they re worthy of having dreams I related so much to their feelings, I think I wept during the last 60 pages or so, sentimental cuss that I am Love, too, finds a prominent place here The love between a sister and a brother and a father and a son, both relationships I am quite familiar with The disappointments, the pride, the desire to help, the desire to flee and hide The book is written from the viewpoint of Glory, a woman in her late 30s who has returned to her childhood home after a collapsed engagement to care for her elderly father She is hardworking, caring, but bitter She feels as though she cannot escape her lot in life, and envies her siblings who all went off and started their own families Except for her brother Jack, who disappeared 20 years ago and has suddenly returned home Jack is aloof, sad, self deprecating, lost, and confused He was always the black sheep of the family the preacher s son who became thief and miscreant He is constantly haunted by his past actions and his sense of self worthlessness Every day is a struggle for him emotionally, and he is blind to see that others may truly love him, regardless of his behavior It is this Jack who returns home suddenly to spend time with Glory and their father Boughton, the father, is a former Presbyterian minister He vacillates between the blind love of a father to his son and an undeniable fury of the disappointment his son has been Jack has not only wrestled with moral behavior, but also has become an agnostic maybe even atheist , wanting to believe in something, but unable to cross that line This devastates Boughton perhaps than anything else And so, the book follows the weeks in which Jack has appeared and asked to stay with his father and sister, both of whom grow to have changing feelings about Jack s return, switching roles from resentment to familial love There were so many themes here that I relished seeing play out between these characters who are, incidentally, all supporting characters from Robinson s other fantastic book, Gilead love, resentment, redemption, guilt, one s certainty or uncertainty of faith, depression, self hatred, care, loss, loneliness, hope, and of course familial relationships Robinson has a clean, clear sense of prose that allows characters to bloom into themselves, revealing deep connections with themselves, their feelings, and the world Great book.

  3. says:

    A well respected retired Presbyterian minister is old and in ill health in a small town in Iowa He s a widower with eight children four boys, four girls He ran a tight religious ship at home regular church attendance, grace at every meal, Bible reading, no swearing, etc Six of the kids did well They married, had kids of their own, and are successful The two children who took other paths the misfits are now home taking care of him The story centers on the few months or so when they are with their father as his health deteriorates In the following, I m not really giving away any plot there isn t much and we pretty much know all the following near the beginning of the story The woman, Glory, late thirties, is back after a long term unsuccessful affair out of town She led her family to believe she was married and that it didn t work out The son, Jack, a few years older than Glory, has bigger problems Ever since he was a kid he was a semi juvenile delinquent He had a baby by a local woman out of wedlock Now he s an alcoholic and or less a drifter he may or may not have other women or other kids out of town he steals and has been in prison, although he s on his best behavior during the visit He hasn t been back home for twenty years, not even coming home for his mother s funeral Given the religious theme of the novel, he is truly the prodigal son Even their names say something about them Glory thinks at some point to this effect the boys were named after PEOPLE mostly Biblical David, John, Luke the girls after immaterial things Faith, Hope, Grace and Glory Because Gloria sounded too southern European apparently.With the human tendency to see the glass half full, instead of being happy with his successful children, Jack totally occupies his father s mind as it declines What did I do wrong Other than feeling bad for Glory that she is sad, he pretty much ignores the fact that she is devastated and feels that she has wasted her life and has no idea what to do next In the author s great words the gradual catastrophe of her own venture into the world had come to an end The father says he loves his son and forgives him He annoyingly tells him so just about every day But we learn this is an intellectual exercise it is Glory who truly loves and truly forgives her brother.The only other major character in the book is an older neighbor, a Congregational minster, who is a daily visitor to the house He knew Jack as a wild young boy He doesn t fool with forgiveness he hates Jack But from his strict religious upbringing, Jack knows his Bible and he likes to jerk the strings of both his father and the minister neighbor He loves to bring up the idea of predestination, or less, God made me a lying, shiftless alcoholic how do we deal with that The story is set around the mid 1950 s when the civil rights movement began in Montgomery and pictures of police brutality were broadcast nightly on black and white TV The two ministers come down on the side of law and order and of Eisenhower Jack sides with the marchers and is a Stevenson man and almost a Marxist The book is a bit slow in places, and Jack s behavior as an alcoholic doesn t seem too realistic compared to ones we know, but this is still a good read Of the three books of this author I have read, I liked Housekeeping best and I thought Gilead really dragged I notice the publisher is now subtitling this book Gilead 2 the name of the town it is set in and the older one, Gilead 1 photo from inwanderlust.weebly.com

  4. says:

    4.5 stars If you ve read Gilead or Lila the characters will be familiar, but yet the story is told from a different perspective The focus of this story is on Jack Boughton, the wayward son of retired minister, the aging Robert Boughton Jack returns home to Gilead, seeking an understanding of himself, seeking answers to the question of whether or not he is worthy of redemption, of perhaps starting a new life in this old place he once called home with a woman he loves The story is told through the point of view of Glory, his younger sister who has also returned to Gilead to care for her ailing father It isn t just Jack who carries burdens of the past Robert wonders what kind of father he has been, especially to Jack Glory has had a bad relationship and is burdened by having deceived her family.John Ames, Reverend Boughton s best friend, also a minister, and his wife Lila play a role in the novel By its very nature, this is about religion and there are discussions of scripture, discussions of predestination and salvation In spite of that, I didn t find this to be preachy There are also discussions of things happening in the world with political discussions between Ames and Boughton Jack brings to the table discussions about racism in the country, which is something that has impacted his life As with Robinson s other novels, I found this to be a beautifully written novel about family, about regrets over the past, over a life not lived fully A sad and meaningful story.

  5. says:

    Home is not a sequel to Gilead , it is a story that lapses at the same time but told from a different perspective In fact, this novel could easily be read as a treatise about family, a sort of rich catalog of the varied ways in which a father can hurt a son, a brother can hurt a sister, or vice versa, precisely because they love each other It s a sad story about miscommunication and failed good intentions wasted over the years that lead to an anticlimactic peak of boundless frustration.The Prodigal Son Jack Boughton, returns home after twenty years of absence A drunk, a thief, a man of disreputable character, problematic since his childhood days, he returns to a dying father and his saintly sister Glory, who is taking care of him Theological meditations and moral dilemmas become the still frame of every unsuccessful attempt at conversation between the members of the Boughton family Old Reverend Boughton is bitterly disappointed in his son but his love for him is unconditional, and following his religious beliefs, he treats him with deference and kindness, forgiving his transgressions even before he has time to commit them Jack senses his father s wariness in his tentative approaches, and his frail recovery is dampened by the painful memories of past mistakes that were too grave to be obviated He stops believing in himself the moment he is welcomed by his family Glory witnesses the slow deterioration of both men while her own suffering goes unaccounted for, taken for granted by her father and condescendingly petted by her reprobate brother.There is no action to speak of, or unexpected turns in this quiet, evocative book Told in confessional first person, the narrative voice acquires a universal dimension that transcends the thoughts and emotions of the characters, reaching the core of the reader, regardless of his familiarity with the religious currents, Presbyterian or Congregationalist, that flood this novel Robinson plays with the idea that family should be like an invisible paradise, that home should be the place one can always return to, a safe haven to mend before heading back into the world.Reality is much complicated, and human nature is an intricate tangle of resentment, guilt and inconsistence that can t be tamed by spiritual piety Amidst the subtle elegance of Robinson s accomplished style, amidst the reflective quality of her exploration of family, faith and redemption, I couldn t help but sense the acute sting of judgment, not only of poor Jack, who can t forgive himself, but also for those who seek for answers beyond the realm of piety Even though I felt like a kind of outsider by the end of the novel, even though I can t identify with Robinson s views on grace and forgiveness, I can t ignore the mastery of her writing and her capacity to elevate the ordinary to the divine Going back home might not be what we all expected, what we need after all, but maybe it s the only thing we can do Regardless.

  6. says:

    It was an interesting experience for me to read this book, since I have not now been a member of a church since I was 28 and I now near 63 Agnostic is how I identify my religious faith on Facebook Depending on whom it is I talk with, I can teeter in different directions The church I was raised to attend is the Dutch Christian Reformed Church, and my pastor was widely seen as the most conservative preacher in the Grand Rapids MI area Every year I lived in my father s house yes, one only for 21 years I was expected to attend two church services each Sunday, and until I figured how to escape some Sunday services with my friend Darrell to Russ s Restaurant, I did so I was a pretty sensitive and inquisitive kid who in part influenced by the various social upheavals of the sixties began to Question Authority that very bumper sticker , and by 15 1968, almost Woodstock questioned my conservative, Total Depravity based Calvinist upbringing by writing questions and concerns on my church bulletins of which I still have several hundred I began to rebel, though I still attended a tiny Christian College, and began my career as an English teacher in western Michigan Christian high schools, hoping to steer as many of my idealistic young students to follow me in Questioning the nature of True Religion, or, increasingly, just trying to help them figure out spirituality I married into the faith at 21 but by the time I was 28 I left the church, all traditions associated with it, lost my marriage and my teaching job, and spun a bit out of control for several years I became the black sheep of my family for reasons I ll keep private here, but suffice to say that Losing My Religion and the conditions under which I left my marriage severely challenged my family s support for me I left the area and never came back My family was not as conservative as my church was, but they were and still are devout Christians, and though we all love each other as family, I always have this prodigality, this breach, that stands in a way between us.I encountered the writing of Christian Iowan writer Robinson in my spiraling period I picked up Housekeeping, read the first page or three, was taken by the quality of the writing immediately I was in Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, I can recall having the book in my hands and put it firmly down I was moving away from this tradition, this kind of writing, someone with roots in the very religious tradition I was leaving But many, many years later, I picked it up again, and began to read her work seriously I didn t know initially whether she wrote novels or tracts, but I always was committed to serious novels, for complexity, toward Doubt, and still am The anguished Dostoevsky, Graham Greene of The Power and the Glory, and J M Coetzee were my models for Serious Literature about spiritual issues So I first began reading Robinson with Housekeeping, a strange and wonderful exploration of what I might call madness, though Robinson would never call it that It s the story of women living apart at the edge of a small western town She was writing about women who were different, not fully integrated into society, perhaps strange, even eccentric, but they had their own kind of spiritual strength She helped me admire these women The writing is gorgeous and the haunting beauty of it is almost breathtaking at times It brought me in contact with emotional touchstones that I had been largely missing for decades I took some time off after that book but bought all her other books, knowing I would spend some good long time with these books, and listen to this woman and see if she had something to say to me I next read Gilead, which as a prodigal son was in part about a prodigal son, a man, gone twenty years, who returns to Gilead, Iowa to see his real father, Rev John Boughton, and who also returns to yet another kind of father figure for him, Rev Ames, a neighbor The year is 1956, which doesn t figure in so much as a time in this book as it does in Home The struggle about religious traditions, about what insights it might have to offer Jack is fascinating to me, and the story of this returning reprobate like me captured me The psychological literary theorist Shoshan Felman once wrote that the stories that most captivate you are essentially your autobiography, they speak to you and for you, they essentially ARE your story The story in Gilead is narrated as a letter by the 77 year old Ames to his own very young son, another dimension of this father son story, and in some ways I felt he was speaking in a fatherly way to me as well as to his young son and his sort of symbolic son, Jack.So when I learned that Home was the second in the Gilead trilogy, and uniquely, tells of the exact same time period as Gilead but from Rev Boughton s daughter Glory s perspective about her own homecoming at 38, and that of her prodigal brother Jack s homecoming, too, focusing even on this father prodigal son story, I was interested Glory is the good girl younger sister of bad boy Jack, who after 20 years comes home, as I said But why If you like to have answers to questions like that as soon as possible, this is the wrong book for you, because Glory and Jack and their father, who is nearing death, speak very little to each other They are very careful with each other Jack ran off once, and he just might do it again 1 3 of the book passes and they are still just feeling their way with each other, learning to talk with each other in a house where talk of feelings is scarce in that Midwestern way The central themes of the book are chiefly theological ones, not surprising in a prodigal son retelling forgiveness, grace, redemption I understand them in theological terms I went to church, I know my Bible, even after all these years but as an agnostic, I want to translate these concepts into psychological terms somehow, too What might forgiveness feel like Can I forgive myself for earlier screw ups Is there an analogue to the Christian notion of grace that isn t just escapism When I was in free fall self destruction for a time, my own father forgave me always he knew I was screwing up, but he was always there for me, defended me, loved me That I understand through the lens of this book as grace, as fatherly forgiveness I experienced self imposed exile from my family for many years, but it was my exile, not my family s, not theirs They never separated themselves from me I just left and never really went home They didn t excuse me for my wrongs, but they loved me, nevertheless It s what family does I am sure I caused them shame and anxiety and many sleeplessness nights, but I didn t think about that so much for a long time Both father figures Ames and Boughton have trouble communicating their feelings to Jack, but they are essentially all about grace Jack never has to earn forgiveness He just gets it from them In reading this, I came to appreciate my conservative and devout family in a way I hadn t for years They offered me grace and I rejected that as a fiction, as fantasy, as Jack does in dealing with his family, as badly as he needs it.My Aunt Florence, the prodigal daughter of my mother s Dutch Calvinist family a flapper, an artist, a nudist And SHE had to go to church THREE times on Sundays, the middle service exclusively IN DUTCH once told me she never believed in Hell, and I loved her for that Jack, in this story, represents the inverse of my Aunt Flossie Jack may be forgiven by his family, but he can t forgive himself He seems to only believe in Hell, in perdition, for all the ways he has sinned Two times Crime and Punishment s Raskolnikov is mentioned in this novel, someone who thought he might be able to rise above guilt, but who nevertheless torments himself with it, and this is a good analogy to Jack s view of himself He s sorry, he gets the forgiveness he doesn t seek or feel he deserves from his family, but he can t forgive himself The number of times Jack says I m sorry or the times he expresses regrets for his failings is almost maddening in this novel, but one has to hear it as a form of poetic repetition, a litany, a song of grief The language is almost thoroughly musical throughout, subtle And the restraint in this book is amazing What do you say about people who are so eager not to hurt each other that they say nothing to each other 1 3 of this book passes before we learn really important information about Jack s and Glory s lost decades, and this is a good thing, because when it happens that we hear some details, it has a kind of electric effect I know this sounds counter intuitive, but trust Robinson Jack was always in trouble as a kid, and he left Gilead 20 years ago, without explanation, missed his mom s funeral, everything It s not until the end, in a huge for me emotional finish, that we get a little better picture of what has gone on Secrets Glory and Jack keep secrets Yes, we look mostly at Jack in the story, but we learn Glory has her own undisclosed history, which becomes slowly revealed Are they reprobate Maybe, in religious terms, but as we get to know them, that s not how we see them, as bad people But they are lost, and mostly lost to themselves It s Glory s cooking that maybe takes a central place in mooring the scenes to family, to traditions, but she is in some ways as unmoored as Jack is.It isn t until well into the book that the old man is seen as having a position on racial politics of the time that separates himself from Jack and us We like the old man, we sympathize with his pain of separation from his wayward, missing son, and we admire his typically gracious treatment of Jack, but we also begin to see some of the wedges he has created Other family members come in to the story, slowly, so we can see Rev Boughton s point about the importance of family You can t live with family, and you can t live without it And the same goes for the notion of home in this book YOU can t go home again, and you can never leave.This is a meditation on forgiveness and grace, and it is also a meditation on fathers and sons I am a son of a now dead father who is with me in a sense every day, in my interactions with my own sons I appreciated the scenes where Jack plays catch with Rev Ames s young son Robby, Jack having lost a baby daughter in his youth Fatherhood is a key theme in the book God the Father is part of this father theme, too, as one might expect, though I don t see it as preachy or too religious.Does this book sound a little too pious and conventional for you Maybe it is But I challenge you to check out one of Robinson s books This duo as part of a trilogy would be a good place to start Housekeeping doesn t deal with religion at all, so maybe that s a better one for most of you But what might you like about Gilead Home The characters, so carefully and lovingly etched, including the anguished Jack, smiling that awkward smile in his despair, touching his scars, the anguished Rev Boughton, and his dutiful and equally anguished daughter, Glory All of them are too often all too caught up in small town propriety, maybe, but then they break free from those strictures But it s the language, each sentence powerfully constructed, and the storytelling, with its narrative symmetries throughout, that sets Robinson apart Passionate symmetries, design echoing a larger design for the universe, perhaps But if you think as a non religious person that Jack is somehow diminished in any way by the Gilead faithful, or by Robinson herself, you are wrong Robinson loves these people, and like Rev Boughton of his son, maybe Robinson loves her Jack the very most She understands him as much as she understands any of the characters in the book.I was very moved by this book We all have those skeletons, maybe Unresolved issues Maybe this is useful for getting at those Was for me And some of the scenes The scene where Glory finds Jack in the barn later in the book is as anguished and powerful a scene as I have experienced in a novel lately But then, I repeat, the book is about me as much as it is about Jack.Lila, the title of the third book in the trilogy, is Rev Ames s young wife She s the least educated, the most intuitive, and she speaks insightfully and with common sense in the midst of these smart, articulate readers of literature, theology, the Bible The third book in the Gilead trilogy has Lila narrate I m so in.

  7. says:

    This book is simply beautiful and heartbreaking.I started getting emotional, tears started welling up on page 26, when I read this about a sister awaiting her prodigal brother homecoming after twenty years of his absence Glory had her own hopes, which were also too high that this visit would happen at all, that it would be interesting, and that Jack would not remember her as the least tolerable, the most officious, the least to be trusted of all his brothers and sisters She thought and hoped he might not remember her at all I wish I could encourage everyone to read this book I wish I had the ability to write about how profound and wondrous and sad this book is Most people won t read this book, because they just don t read Some will dislike this story s religious overtones They ll also notice it s a small domestic tale set in southwestern Iowa And then they ll say there are no car crashes, eviscerations, pirates, alien monsters, superpowers, and murders no raping, pillaging and plundering to keep them turning pages.Home is simply a story about family, about feeling a foreigner in your own house, about forgiveness and gentleness and grace It s the third book by an author who won the Pulitzer a few years ago for the small book Gilead Gilead set in the mid 1950s was about John Ames, a dying minister, an old groom writing letters as an inheritance to his unexpected, young son In these letters, Reverend Ames tells his young son about three generations of Ames ministers There was the violently abolitionist grandfather who fought and lost and eye in the Kansas Wars , his pacifist father who refused to serve in WWI , and then his own place in this progeny Gilead is the name of their small fictional town It was a book that required patience but rewarded with poetry, sensibility, and mercy.Home is the other side of that same story Ames best friend since they were eight was a Presbyterian minister Robert Boughton Boughton had eight kids, one who he named after Ames This son, Jack as he asks to be called is the black sheep of the Boughton clan, but he is also the most loved He was a petty thief, a vandal, and a loner When he was in college, he came home and got a sixteen year old pregnant and then abandoned her and his own family, running away not to be heard from for twenty years.When Jack does return rough, bone thin, and hung over he finds his dad is dying The old minister is being watched after by the youngest daughter, Glory, who is trying to hide that her eight year engagement has ended in abandonment The book is told with special attention to Glory s perspective Together, Glory and Reverend Boughton try to make Jack feel at home in the home he always felt alien in They try to practice Christian grace, and they try to help this prodigal son plagued by his own ghosts, his unmet hopes, criminal behavior, alcoholism, depression, and his self loathing That s about all I could tell you The rest, if you have the patience there are no chapters, just small divided sections, for all 314 pages , is filled with small town events and heart breaking revelations I will admit, I am from southern Iowa, in the same area of Robinson s fictional town of Gilead Like Jack, I am also from a large family, and I am the black sheep, the one who never felt at home in his parents house I understand Jack s want to belong, and yet an entire lifetime of family history has informed him that he is different from his many brothers and sisters I understand when he states that he wished he could just walk through the door and be as comfortable as his siblings did, doing homework at the table, belonging I also know the quiet and merciful religiosity of Home, the grace that tries to reach Jack and help him not knowing that its beauty and generosity only makes him feel less deserving and foreign.I cried a lot while reading Home I still am, trying to tell you about it.

  8. says:

    I love this book I had a good, long weep after finishing it But that s not why I love it I ve been sitting here trying to analyze exactly why I love it so much but words are failing me and you know that never happens So here goes Her other books are also wonderful, but this one makes me sure that Marilynne Robinson is one of the greatest writers alive today That it is original is an understatement I could talk about how I think she s establishing a new literary genre, but the truth is, I don t really know enough to talk like that even if I heartily suspect that my great grandchildren will be studying her in their literature classes I only know the effect her work has on me It s breathtaking, heartbreaking and alarming like nothing I ve ever read before and at the same time piercingly subtle, humble, gentle and wonderful It horrifies me before I even know I m being horrified, when I think I m safe Like watching dust motes float in the sunshine streaming in through a quiet window and suddenly understanding what it means to be human.I can see how some people would read this book or her other two and be bored, or just not get it Her words command a sort of attention that s not common these days, and that takes some energy and on the surface, the plot progresses slowly and seems quite benign But the wonder of these stories The gut wrenching power of them Each story is bigger than the sum of its parts Her work is entirely and gloriously subversive, in the best sense In Home, she takes what seems to be a bucolic tale of a small town, drenched in subtle family dynamics and old time religion, and turns it into a tale of hopeless human depravity and extraordinary, confounding redemption But it s not gothic There are no apocalyptic visions, no supernatural interventions, no blood and violence It s not epic or modernist, either and despite all of the religious overtones and undertones , it s not a morality tale, not at all Her characters are unassuming The settings are modest There aren t any freaks, despots, heroes or villains How does she pull it off She doesn t rely on any of the tricks or shocking contrasts that other writers use to make the reader feel the horror and weight of the problem at hand It looks like pottery, but feels like gold heavy, spare, significant, rich Home is not just a companion piece to Gilead it surpasses Gilead Gilead was a preparation, a working up to this one Interesting, now, to think about Gilead in light of Home perhaps it is not as innocuous as I originally thought I may have to re read it With each novel, Robinson s work progresses and opens further and deeper and sends out creeper vines into as yet unexplored literary territory Like the best sort of art.

  9. says:

    5 stars The hope that I will find a book like this one is the reason I read.Home A word that conveys so many different meanings that for each person it is as individual as a fingerprint For Jack Boughton, it is a place he has run from, longed for, and never quite fit into For his sister, Glory, it is a place she loves, wishes to escape from, but knows she will be tied to all of her life Thomas Wolfe told us you can never go home again , Marilynne Robinson seems to say you can never leave home at all.As complicated as the concept of Home is, forgiveness might be even complicated God dispenses grace and calls for man to forgive, but can man truly forgive The two venerable pastors in this novel, Robert Boughton and John Ames, certainly talk about forgiveness as though it is something they understand and aspire to, but neither of them seems capable of true forgiveness Robert can never look beyond the past to see the man Jack truly is, and, because Jack is his namesake, Ames counts every trespass as an affront to his good name Neither of them is able to embrace the change in Jack They look at the man, but they always and forever see the boy Glory, who has always struggled to understand who her elusive brother Jack was, is the one person who is able to look at who he is without flinching She offers hope in what feels like a pretty hopeless situation If there is a home to come to for Jack, Glory embodies it.We wonder why the past cannot be purged, when the present and the future are so tenuous Why is Jack back, after all these years, to endure this endless flogging Like Robert Frost s hired man, Jack knows Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in But, he is hoping the truth will lie in I should have called it Something you somehow haven t to deserve Robinson says, Weary or bitter or bewildered as we may be, God is faithful He lets us wander so we will know what it means to come home But that implies a sweetness in the homecoming that eludes these characters no matter how they try to have it otherwise.If you come from a perfect family in which the members have always understood and loved one another, you might not register the impact of this story If you come from a family who have loved one another, but always found understanding one another difficult, it might be like looking in a mirror If you have ever felt outside in places that you know should have been your comfort zone, Jack will resonate with you, and if you have ever had a sibling that you loved but felt estranged from, Jack will make you cry.I loved Robinson s Gilead I built my own backstory for Jack Boughton and thought I had a fair idea of who Glory and Robert were I was anxious to know about those characters, but what I got in Home was so much than I could ever have imagined Seeing Ames side of the story, and then Jack s, was so revealing about the character of human beings, how often we view life only in the context of what it means to us, for us, when the motivation of the other person can be so different and not about us at all.I am on to Lila and the final leg of this journey I highly recommend this series to everyone who wants to grapple for a little while with the larger questions in life Not good vs evil, but man s incapacity to sort good from evil, to understand the depths of the human heart, to touch another man s soul Glory asks Jack what he thinks the soul is, perhaps that is the question for all of us and to know the answer to our own soul we must try to understand someone else s.As for home, I leave you with this thought from Marilynne Robinson Home What kinder place could there be on earth, and why did it seem to them all like exile Oh, to be passing anonymously, through an impersonal landscape Oh not to know every stump and stone, not to remember how the fields of Queen Anne s lace figured in the childish happiness they had offered to their father s hopes Oh to carry no past, to have no hurts, no scars, no disappointments, no calamitous youth to haunt your present Oh to be perfect and not need forgiveness, or perhaps to only be perfect enough to be able to forgive.

  10. says:

    It expresses the will of God to sustain us in this flesh, in this life Weary or bitter or bewildered as we may be, God is faithful He lets us wander so we will know what it means to come home.

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