Kathleen Hagen's Reviews > Home

Home by Marilynne Robinson
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's review
Jul 25, 2009

bookshelves: 2009-audio-books, 2009-fiction
Read in July, 2009

Home: a Novel, by Marilyn Robinson, narrated by Maggie-Meg Reed, produced by Macmillan Audio, downloaded from audible.com.

This is a haunting story about life in Gilead, a small Iowa town in the late ‘50’s. The patriarch, Reverend Robert Boughton, is dying. His youngest daughter, Glory, has come home to take care of him, mainly because she is the only one without family who can. The main narrator in this book is Glory, and we get to know only what she knows. Jack, the prodigal son, so to speak, who left the family and didn’t communicate with anyone for 20 years, arrives home. This book is the dilemma of father and son trying to work out a closure of their relationship for the end of Robert Boughton’s life. Jack is an alcoholic who, even though sober almost ten years, can’t keep a job and doesn’t fit in anywhere. Glory ends up acting as Jack’s confidant and trying to facilitate communication between father and son. This novel, and Maggie-Meg Reed, won the audiofile earphone award in 2008. This is a companion piece to Robinson’s “Gilead” which apparently deals with the same subject from the viewpoint of Robert Boughton’s friend, the Reverend John Ames. The structure of these two is similar to Paul Scott’s The Raj Quartet, where in this case both books deal with the same subject, the prodigal son, from different viewpoints. It is best to read “Gilead” first.

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