Friday, June 24, 2011

Home, Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson makes you feel like she has weighed out every single sentence for a month. She is so gracefully pointed in her prose, wasting not a word; it's always an overwhelming experience to read her! If you were to highlight a novel by her, you'd might as well spray paint the whole book.

Robinson shares a sad end to Gilead's Reverend Ames' lifelong friend, minister Robert Boughton. As two of his children return home to their ailing, widowed father, they slowly attempt discourse about family differences, grievances, and spiritual confusions. Glory's failed relationships have left her feeling diffident and lost, and Jack's alcoholism and depression have kept him at arm's length of his whole family for his entire life.

The beauty is in the kindness that the family genuinely shows to each other, and the deftness with which their relationships and encounters unfold. Glory's constancy where Jack's struggle with alcohol is concerned meant a lot to me, a child of a  recovering alcoholic. I felt like Robinson captured a lot when dealing with this: firstly, and maybe most importantly, that you can't force something on someone, you can not ask more of them than they can ask from themselves in that moment. Glory's patience helps Jack to stay and feel safe with her.

Despite so many barriers, so much time and angst, this is a novel of love and faith, a reminder that both of those qualities, and all relationships are a never ending process of work and devotion. Your home can speak of peace and hope just like a church to the religious. 

It may seem like a quick read at first, but be sure to give this novel your full attention!

Home, Marilynne Robinson
ISBN: 0374299102 

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