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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Home.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Marilynne Robinson(Author)

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Hundreds of thousands of readers were enthralled and delighted by the luminous, tender voice of John Ames in Gilead, Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
Now comes HOME, a deeply affecting novel that takes place in the same period and same Iowa town of Gilead. This is Jack's story. Jack - prodigal son of the Boughton family, godson and namesake of John Ames, gone twenty years - has come home looking for refuge and to try to make peace with a past littered with trouble and pain. A bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot hold down a job, Jack is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and with his traditionalist father, though he remains Boughton's most beloved child. His sister Glory has also returned to Gilead, fleeing her own mistakes, to care for their dying father. Brilliant, loveable, wayward, Jack forges an intense new bond with Glory and engages painfully with his father and his father's old friend John Ames.

...a country of mystical sunsets, abandoned shacks, storms that could have come out of the book of Job, snowstorms that that can take your life within a few feet of your own front door, and wild rivers in which one can be baptized. I said Marilynne Robinson's prose was like clear, cold water and so it is - and sometimes it is about water too - you are never far from its cleansing, chilly power, or from the mysterious rush of the wind, sounding like the ocean in a region impossibly far from any sea. (Peter Hitchens Mail Online)Her poetic, almost biblical style of writing...flows like clear cold water and is full of quiet power while remaining oddly conversational... People say they love these books, and I can see why. Quite how they can do so without discerning within them a serious, deep, patient but modest defence of the Christian proposition, I do not know. (Peter Hitchens Mail Online)Her fiction attends with rapt attention to the "dear ordinary" breathing fresh air into the long-standing debates of American Protestantism (Kasia Boddy, DAILY TELEGRAPH)'A quietly moving novel of faith and forgiveness. (Amber Pearson, DAILY MAIL)'So finely wrought as to make the work of her more productive contemporaries seem tawdry by comparison . . . The cadences of her prose have a resonant authority more like that of a great music rather than language. The effect is utterly haunting. The bad news is that is makes all other writing seem jejune for ages afterwards (Jane Shilling, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)This is certainly a novel about faith and love. However, it is also a meditation on doubt and fear . . . There is both a subtlety and a simplicity about her most powerful themes. She asserts the elusiveness of perfection, the foolishness of sever self-ju (HERALD)

3.5 (6354)
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Review Text

  • By Herman Norford on 8 December 2009

    So I finally got around to reading Marilynne Robinson's third novel, Home. It's a novel that comes burdened with the success of its predecessor, Gilead, although Home has eventually found its own success by winning the Orange prize, 2009. Also it must be said it is a clever idea of Robinson to place the novel in the same time frame and setting as Gilead but Home can be read as novel that stands in its own right without prior knowledge of Gilead.Robinson's story is a straight forward one about a family - in this case the Boughtons. It is a large family with all the siblings fully grown into adults. The key protagonists in this family story are the father Robert Boughton, his son Jack and daughter Glory. After a long absence from the family home, Glory returns home to look after her frail father. She is quickly followed by her brother Jack - a prodigal son figure. These two siblings' reunion with their father in the old, family, home provide the means for Robinson to explore, in the main, the dynamics of family life and the impact of memories of the past on the present. Robinson's themes are manifold but ultimately Christian based. It could be said that through the Boughton family, Robinson explores issues about love, forgiveness, humility, faith and Christian mercy. All this is shot through by means of the third person narration seen mainly from the perspective of Glory.Home is not a rip-roaring yarn of a novel. Anyone expecting such a read will be disappointed. Instead, it is a very slow paced, deeply considered and in places moving novel. Its prose is pared down to present a language that on the surface is deceptively straight forward but with careful reading is powerful in its message. For me its power lies in the sense that whether or not one believes in its Christian outlook and morality, this is a novel that teaches us how to be good and humble. Robinson's examination and exploration of the minuteness of human behaviour and interaction is extraordinary in its revelations. Yet despite my obvious admiration for Robinson's style and the issues she deals with, it has to be said that the exploration and narration of the relationship between Jack and Glory is at time repetitive and tedious.It could be said that Home does not wear its themes on its sleeve. It delivers its themes quietly and subtly. As a result one could easily miss some of the big ideas explored in the novel. For example as she conveys a Christian morality Robinson is neither preachy nor dogmatic. She quietly and carefully explores the question of the negro treatment in the US in the context of Christianity; she examines the Christian concept of grace; she reasonably asks us to consider predestination; and the idea of how some biblical punishment is said to manifest itself - namely the sins of the father being visited upon the child.Robinson uses the relationship between Jack, Glory and their father to examine a very down to earth and basic question - that is what makes a family tick. No doubt that in this case it is the present or absent of the prodigal figure, Jack. Robinson tells us: "It was amazing her whole life long that house was either where Jack might not be or where he was not. Why did he leave? Where had he gone? ... They were so afraid they would lose him, and they had lost him, and that was the story of their family, no matter how warm and faithful and robust it might have appeared to the outside world"Oh the burdens of the past and the values inbred in us! The past misdeeds, sins if you prefer, is what plague both Jack and Glory. Their return to home to Gilead is a means of atonement. What's played out in the novel is a form of confessional repentance between Jack and Glory. But these two troubled siblings are just symbolic of other lost and guilty souls who like Jack have found their home to be the seat of what has shaped them. The significance of the symbolism here is that Robinson in her own quiet and subtle way suggests that Jack's and Glory's condition is to be found in many adult human beings. The problem may not be a conflict of Christian values and worldly human misdeeds but nonetheless in some shape or form at some time in our lives we experience the angst ridden conflict of Jack and Glory.From time to time one goes through periods of reading dull and over praised novels at such times one's willingness and patience to plough through such novels are tested. By contrast it is a delightful pleasure to pick up and read a novel such as Home - suddenly one's faith in the novel to deliver something touching and worthwhile is restored.

  • By PammyMac on 2 March 2017

    The other readers in my Book Club loved this book but I found it slow and grim most of the time. It is a format of writing where in the story nothing seems to happen yet at the end all has changed. I found it depressing, the others found it lyrical and uplifting. Everyone is different!

  • By Sarah on 5 August 2017

    excellent product and service, thanks

  • By Guest on 1 August 2017

    a quiet masterpiece

  • By Fizz 47 on 7 October 2014

    An interesting book that i couldn't put down.


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