Friday, August 19, 2011

Home by Marilynne Robinson




  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Genre: Literary Fiction
  • Publisher: Virago Press 2009
  • Source: Another Bookcrosser
  • First Sentence : ”Home to stay, Glory! Yes!” her father said and her heart sank.
  • Review Quote :’One of the saddest books I have ever loved’ Sarah Churchwell, The Guardian.
  • My Opinion: A novel where the words and thoughts of the characters are its strength.
  • Favourite Quote: She said “The girls in this family got named for theological abstractions and the boys got named for human beings.”
  • Awards: Winner of the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction.


    When I added this title to My Wishlist although I had heard of this contemporary American novelist I had not read any of her novels. I was delighted when thanks to another Bookcrosser  this book arrived in the post as a surprise. This is one of the great things about Bookcrossing the generosity of those people willing to share books with others around the world.

    The central theme of the novel is the parable from the Bible of The Prodigal Son. Jack Boughton is the prodigal son, returning home after twenty years and attempting to rebuild his relationship with his father and siblings. He left with a drink problem and emotional problems which have got worse not better during his long absence.                       The female protagonist of the three main characters is Glory, also running away from her life, using the excuse of returning home to care for her dying Father. Glory is the youngest of the Reverend’s eight children and the only one free to nurse him. She also has secrets that burden her as her life has not been a conventional one for small town America in the fifties.                             The Reverend Robert Boughton is an old man for whom Christianity is a way of life. Although he knows he is dying, finds it impossible to give Jack the opportunity to talk to him about his problems, despite the fact he has always been his favourite child.

    A very moving book about families, love, death and faith, where as there is not much action the words and thoughts of the characters are the strength.

    The author accepting the Orange Prize for Fiction.

  • Marilynne Summers Robinson was born on November 26th 1943 and grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, is an American novelist and essayist.  Her first novel, Housekeeping (1980) , received the PEN/Hemingway award for best first novel as well as being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her second novel, Gilead (2004) , won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and her third, Home (2008), won the Orange Prize for Fiction.

    Marilynne Robinson reads from her  novel "Home"


    Uploaded by msarvas on Oct 23, 2008
  • Information for this post is with thanks to the following websites.

    Amazon - Author's Page - Marilynne Robinson

    Wikipedia - Marilynne Robinson



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    1. Must admit I preferred Gilead, but it's a nice quote.

    2. Hi Linda! Sounds like a good family saga type of book. I was just thinking - perhaps I could send you The Darling Strumpet via Bookcrossing? What do you think. I've nearly finished it, but I won't be able to get it off to you until after I return from Paris on the 1st September, as I'm leaving here on Monday. I am enjoying it, but, as I said before, it's quite bawdy, as you would expect of a novel about Nell Gwynn I guess, but it is quite explicit at times. Would you like me to send it across to you??

    3. Somehow I have not been able to get "into" her books. Maybe the timing just hasn't been right! Nice review...thanks.

    4. Italian Notes@ Not having read any of her other books I cannot compare, glad you liked the quote I picked.

      Thisisme@ Yes and No, as I said it was the words rather than the characters that made this book readable for me. The Darling Strumpet sounds fun and if your daughter does not claim it first I would be interested.:)

      Patricia@ I am pleased you liked the review, It was not an easy read and I will say it did not inspire me to want to read the rest of her books.

    5. It sounds well written and I would love to read something by this author. I shy away from sad books most of the time. Thanks for a good review, my friend! I did a review, too...not as good as yours though! ♥

    6. Hmm. I tried reading 'Gilead' and it just wasn't for me. I wonder if I'd enjoy this more?

    7. Thanks for linking-up to our party! Great review as always, and sometimes it is nice to read a book that is not all plot-centered, and is more character driven. I tend to prefer books like that! I have never read any of Robinson's books, but I have heard she is a wonderful writer, and I have read several reviews about her work.

    8. This sounds like something I need to add to my must read. I'm off to read more about the author.
      Natalie :0)

    9. I have heard good things about this author, but have not had the chance to read any of her books. I have to do something about that. Thanks for the reminder.

    10. This looks really good! I have added it to my list. I think it would be perfect for my book club. Thank you for sharing! :)


    11. Love that quote you selected. It seems like such a heavy book though. One that might be too painful even at times to want to pick up and read.

    12. Lavender Dreamer@ It is well written and I am pleased you liked the review, I will read yours later.
      Talli@ Having not read any of her other books I cannot advise, however the first commenter much preferred 'Gilead'
      Bookquoter@ I will watch out for your quotes then.
      Liz@ Welcome, I think it would make a good Bookclub choice and lead to lots of lively discussion.
      Smallgood@ Welcome, it is certainly not the easiest of reads emotionally.

    13. Ricki Jill@ I enjoy linking up and meeting other book reviewers. I am pleased you found the review of interest and from your comments I think you might find 'Home' to your taste.

      Natalie W@ Do let me know how you get on with 'Home'


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