Chris's Reviews > Home

Home by Marilynne Robinson
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Jul 09, 14

4.5 actually. The simple, sometimes beautiful, sometimes anxious prose creates an atmosphere that brings this story to wonderful life. For a story set in 1956, which deals with some archetypal themes of that decade, there is refreshingly no ideological axe grinding. Rather than preaching a political, cultural, or religious sermon, Robinson focuses our attention on insignificant figures from an insignificant town and their very particular, "rueful" summer at home.

Readers of Gilead will find that this account of the same Gilead summer from the perspective of the Boughton family little resembles the diary account of John Ames. At the same time, however, the two stories share similar themes that are further fleshed out by this addition. Home is a sustained meditation on how the parable of the prodigal son (or the resurrection of Lazarus) could be complicated, in part by the returning son's increased sense of alienation in his own home, and in part by the father's anxiety that the son will leave home once again. So finish polishing the DeSoto, pick some fresh mushrooms, check the pot roast in the oven, put on freshly pressed clothes, grab a game of checkers, and sit down at the kitchen table, face in hand, with Reverend Boughton, Glory, and Jack.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Becki (new)

Becki I liked that you included "face in hand." And, I shouldn't have read your review until I was done with the book, but you didn't give anything completely away. Whew!

Lambert I think you'll find that it is set in 1956. Hence the references to Eisenhower and Stevenson. The timing is clear because Ames is born in 1880 and is 76 at the time Gilead is set.

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