Housekeeping

By Marilynne Robinson
(Picador, Paperback, 9780312424091, 224pp.)

Publication Date: October 14, 2004

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Description

A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town "chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere." Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience.




About the Author

MARILYNNE ROBINSON is the author of the novel Gilead and two books of nonfiction, Mother Country and The Death of Adam. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Why do you think Marilynne Robinson has chosen Housekeeping as the title for her novel? What does the concept of housekeeping mean to Sylvie? To the girls’ grandmother? To Lucille? Why is the idea of housekeeping such an important one in this book?




Praise For Housekeeping

"So precise, so distilled, so beautiful that one doesn't want to miss any pleasure it might yield."—Le Anne Schreiber, The New York Times Book Review

"Here's a first novel that sounds as if the author has been treasuring it up all her life...You can feel in the book a gathering voluptuous release of confidence, a delighted surprise at the unexpected capacities of language, a close, careful fondness for people that we thought only saints felt."—Anatole Broyard, The New York Times

"I found myself reading slowly, than more slowly—this is not a novel to be hurried through, for every sentence is a delight."—Doris Lessing

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