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Home by Marilynne Robinson
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's review
Dec 19, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, read-more-than-once
Read in October, 2008

Marilynne Robinson writes beautiful prose. When I read Housekeeping way back in the day (why yes, I believe it was the 1980's), I couldn't believe how strongly Robinson evokes a haunting sense of place. Like Gilead, Home is set in the 1950's in Gilead, Iowa and involves the same set of characters, but we get a different point of view. When I heard Robinson read, she said she didn't intend to write about these characters again, but they just kept talking to her. They had more to say. While Gilead felt just a little too idyllic in its telling of the story of a Reverend's family history in Iowa, Home has more of a critique of the racial hypocrisies in small town religious life. Robinson still lovingly portrays her characters and the town, but she also exposes some of its ugly racial history. We come to learn more about Jack, the Reverend's son, who comes back to visit after twenty years. A complex character, he struggles with what it means to connect with a town and a family who will never accept his interracial relationship. It is such a compelling read that I had to go back and re-read Gilead and Housekeeping all over again, reminding myself why I fell in love with Marilynne Robinson's prose in the first place.
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