Jenny (Reading Envy)'s Reviews > Lila

Lila by Marilynne Robinson
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I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, but since it was a finalist for the National Book Award, I would have been reading it anyway!

When I finally got around to reading Gilead, I was surprised by how much I liked it despite its very small world. Marilynne Robinson kept to that small world when she wrote Home, a story set in the same time with a parallel character. And this book does it again by telling the story of the wife of the minister from the first book. This one feels much more set in a specific time period, as Lila comes from a group of wanderers trying to survive during the Great Depression.

The writing is powerful even in its simplicity, and there is a lot to think about through the contrast of Lila and the minister. This would be my pick to win the National Book Award, but Housekeeping remains my favorite book by this author. There are a few similarities between Housekeeping and the character of Lila which I think will please readers who are a fan of that earlier work.

A few tidbits:

"She liked to do her wash. Sometimes fish rose for the bubbles. The smell of soap was a little sharp, like the smell of the river. In that water you could rinse things clean. It might be a little brown after a good rain, soil from the fields, but the silt washed away or settled out. Her shirts and her dress looked to her like creatures that never wanted to be born, the way they wilted into themselves, sinking under the water as if they only wanted to be left there, maybe to find some deeper, darker pool. And when she lifted them out, held them up by their shoulders, they looked like pure weariness and regret. Like her own flayed skin. But when she hung them over a line and let the water run out, and the sun and the wind dry them, they began to seem like things that could live."

"Children come up with these notions, and then after a while they forget to wonder about it all, because what does it matter, what does it have to do with t hem, things are what they are."
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Reading Progress

October 15, 2014 – Shelved
October 15, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
November 13, 2014 – Started Reading
November 14, 2014 – Finished Reading
November 16, 2014 – Shelved as: read2014
November 16, 2014 – Shelved as: around-the-usa
November 16, 2014 – Shelved as: location-usa-iowa
November 16, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewcopy
November 16, 2014 – Shelved as: ebooks
November 16, 2014 – Shelved as: national-book-award-nominees

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I definitely agree with your thoughts on Housekeeping.

Elyse Walters Wonderful review and sooo loved the added tidbits

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