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(Gilead #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  25,480 ratings  ·  3,791 reviews
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 faith.

Hundreds 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, d
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Anne Payne I have read "Gilead" but not "Home" so I hope I'm not being an uninformed gratuitous commenter. I just wanted to say that the Montgomery bus boycott t…moreI have read "Gilead" but not "Home" so I hope I'm not being an uninformed gratuitous commenter. I just wanted to say that the Montgomery bus boycott took place in 1956-7, and there was definitely accompanying violence. I don't know whether this addresses the issue you raise completely.(less)
Mary I read "Gilead" a while back and didn't remember that much. I also found it slow going, with all of its theological reflections. Now, I've just finish…moreI read "Gilead" a while back and didn't remember that much. I also found it slow going, with all of its theological reflections. Now, I've just finished "Home." It is MUCH easier to get into and I think it stands entirely on its own. The relationship between the family in "Home" and the Reverend Ames, who narrates "Gilead," is perfectly clear in "Home" itself without having read the previous book. I'm going back to check out the passages in "Gilead" that refer to Jack Boughton, the character with whom "Home" is most concerned, and it's fascinating to get Rev. Ames' thoughts about him. But you don't need to know any of that to thoroughly enjoy "Home." Someone here suggested that the perfect order is (1) Home, (2) Gilead, (3) Lila, and I agree.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Home (Gilead, #2), Marilynne Robinson

Home is a novel written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Marilynne Robinson. Published in 2008, it is Robinson's third novel, preceded by Housekeeping in 1980 and Gilead in 2004.

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 a
Elyse Walters
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, fri
Jim Fonseca
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
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, no swearing, etc. Six of the kids ‘did well.’ They married, had kids of their own and are ‘successful.’


[Review below revised and spoilers hidden 11/29/22]

Even their names say something about them. One daughter, Glory, thinks at some point to this effect:
Benjamin Chandler
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 more than once.

Maybe some of this comes from where I am emotionally right now—somewhere teetering between hope and devastati
Dave Schaafsma
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 onl ...more
Angela M (On a little break)
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dost, read-in-2017
“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.

Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a Christian family and how it negotiates the slow fade of its patriarch, the Reverend Robert Boughton. Add to that the recent jilting of daughter Glory who has suffered humiliations from a married man. And the life gone wrong of son Jack, a troublemaker and petty thief since boyhood, now the prodigal son returned.

The sad thing to see is how locked they all are into their conceptions of sin, transgression, dishonor. One wishes they could lighten up, especially old Boughton.
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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, ...more
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 hope
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 27, 2022 rated it really liked it

“You must forgive in order to understand. Until you forgive, you defend yourself against the possibility of understanding.”

Home is a novel about forgiveness and understanding in which self-forgiveness seems to come the hardest to its characters. Set in Iowa in 1956, Home serves as a companion piece to Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Gilead which centers upon the reflections of Congregationalist minister John Ames. In Home, Robinson focuses on his best friend Robert Boughton,
“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.”
Lynne King
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I hate to say this as it sounds so trite and I’m certainly not religious but this is indeed one of those novels that has been touched by the hand of grace. Marilynne Robinson in her unique inimitable way has produced a sublime work that exquisitely captures the life of Reverend Boughton and his children Glory and Jack. This novel encapsulates the ideals of family life and solidarity regardless of what becomes of them and what is so touching is that Jack, the wayward son, who did everything out o ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is a “home?” Can you ever go “home?” I am a bit confounded by my attempts to write a review of this novel.

When Benjamin Franklin said “A house is not a home….” he was concerned with a place that provided “food and fire for the mind as well as the body.” I am not sure how Marilynne Robinson would make the distinction between the two but she gives us many clues.

"Twenty years was long enough to make a stranger of someone she had known far better than this brother of hers, and here he was in he
A perfect companion to the awful Gilead.

Again, it is well-written, and the main character has a lot more to offer, being the lost son of the preacher's friend. He comes home and tries to live up to the moral and religious standards of his family, and the story could have been really good if Christian absolute truth hadn't been imposed on the main character and reader alike ALL THE TIME. I found myself yelling at the poor sinful son: "If you say SORRY just once more, I will throw this book out t
Jr Bacdayan
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had this unmistakable feeling of sunshine while I read this soulful novel. I always felt as though I was reading it in the morning, just at that exact moment when the majestic rays of the rising sun feel most wonderful. Not too hot, not too bright, just right. It was radiant, I felt like it gave a stir to my bones, an energy of some sort, a source of strength. It's funny really, because the book treads on a slow, probably careful albeit graceful pace. It would probably have been a five-star, h ...more
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Home” is set in Gilead, Iowa, of the sunflowers. It tells the story of “greying children” taking care of their “ancient father”. Glory, aged 38, the youngest of 6 children, returned home to live with her father, the Reverend Robert Boughton, after her marriage fell apart. Her brother, Jack, who had a reputation of being a scoundrel also returned home from his wandering and bitterness after 20 years. Both were unprepared to encounter a father so sad and old. Robinson wrote with empathic apprecia ...more
Cathrine ☯️
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

After sleeping with the emotional state this book left me in, I have edited my review and changed it to a solid five stars.

"It is a book unsparing in its acknowledgment of sin and unstinting in its belief in the possibility of grace. It is at once hard and forgiving, bitter and joyful, fanatical and serene. “
From "The Return Of The Prodigal Son.” A New York Times book review by A. O. Scott

I just don’t know what I can say or add about this book. Really. It broke my heart and I loved it anyway.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This hit me right in the heart. The characters are so deep and finely drawn, yet never overstated, always with the subtle threads of their actions and the revealing dialogue. I grew up in similar climes, in smallish towns in the Midwest, where it all happens. Robinson treats believers with great respect; she recapitulates their quiet and earnest struggles with truth, god and mortality in a special way. There’s not a lot of plot here, in fact some might find this absolutely dry and plodding. But ...more
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american
I've just re-read “Home” after having been given Marilynne Robinson's latest book, "Jack", which is concerned with the years before Jack, the beloved prodigal son, returns home. "Home" is the second book in the Gilead set. He’s not the only one to have returned; his sister, Glory, has come back to look after their father, a Presbyterian minister who is now old and frail. She has her own troubled past, which she has kept hidden. Much of the book is a slow, intimate, building of the relationship b ...more
I was disappointed with the muted passions of the characters in the novel and their unrealistic dwelling on spiritual and moral issues in isolation from the wellsprings of the usual ongoing connections and concerns in life. The prose has the same elegant and spare virtues as Robinson’s previous books, “Housekeeping” and “Gilead”, but the narrative often dragged to me due to excessive length relative to few substantive events and choices in action taken by the characters.

In the late 50’s, a duti
Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer
A companion novel to “Gilead” told in the third person and telling the story of Jack Broughton, his father Rev Broughton and particularly his youngest sister – Glory, living back at home after her fiancée of many years finally stopped his deceit of her (admitting he was married). Many of the scenes directly overlap with “Home” but are viewed by other observers – particularly the interactions between Jack and Ames (mainly recounted by Jack to Glory).

As brilliantly written as “Gilead” although wit
Since joining GoodReads, my reading has become much more prolific and eclectic. Thanks to the reviews of the members here, I have been much more successful at finding books that appeal to me and are worth my time. One of the books that I read this year as a result of GoodReads reviews was “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson. “Gilead” was one of the most profoundly moving books I have ever read. It touched my heart in a way that few books ever do. It spoke of faith and forgiveness in such a reverent m ...more
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
I'm speechless. I have to process before I can say anything coherent. She is the most insightful author I've ever read. Please read this book if you have a family and a heart! ...more
Ron Charles
Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Marilynne Robinson's mournful new novel, Home, is not a sequel or a prequel to her Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead (2004) but rather a companion. And companionship, it turns out, is what all the lonely people in this book are seeking. Set in the same Iowa town, just a short distance from Rev. John Ames, the dying narrator of Gilead, the events in Home take place concurrently with those of that other novel. This time, however, we're in the house of Rev. Robert Boughton, Ames's longtime friend, who' ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-core
Whoa, now this is the tearjerker! Last week, I read Roxana Robinson's Cost and mentioned in my review that although it was a heavy melodrama, it would not make you cry. Since that and this book, Marilynne Robinson's Home are both included in the 1001 list and the two lady authors share the same surname (Robinson - although no relation), I read them with only a book in between.

This is about relationships all anchored in a place we call HOME. Yes, the novel is aptly titled (unlike in Cost which up
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read! Home is about family, love, life and second chances. I really enjoyed Glory’s account of what happens throughout the novel, although at one point I was tempted to question the reality of what she thinks or wonder about how other characters perceive the same incidents. Her narrative, however, is remarkable, cautious and meticulous when it comes to her brother and father, adding to the familial intensity (this is called a third person limited narrator if you are wondering and I g ...more
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
Subtlety on a grand scale
Raul Bimenyimana
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Home, that familiar physical space and whatever it may mean and represent to different people. Comfort, love, salvation, pain, regret, disappointment and most likely more than either one of these things and yet there's no denying in some way that that space we live in and at times share in with others, often does leave a mark on us.

In this story siblings Glory and Jack, middle-aged and mourning their different failures have returned home to their aging father in a small town in Iowa. This is a
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American novelist and essayist. Across her writing career, Robinson has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005, National Humanities Medal in 2012, and the 2016 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. In 2016, Robinson was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people. Robinson began teaching at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1991 and retire ...more

Other books in the series

Gilead (4 books)
  • Gilead
  • Lila
  • Jack

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