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Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Marilynne Robinson

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  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 122mm x 196mm x 24mm | 280g
  • Publication date: 16 April 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1844085503
  • ISBN 13: 9781844085507
  • Sales rank: 5,366

Product description

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.

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Author information

Marilynne Robinson was born in 1947. Her first novel, Housekeeping (1981) received the PEN/Hemingway award for best first novel as well as being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her second novel, GILEAD, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction

Customer reviews

By mona abed algani 26 Aug 2013 5

This was a slow sad book for me to read, tormenting story of family's coping with son's absence and addiction. Very heavy in emotional content and the end even more, the images of the father withering body and slow movements still haunt me.

Review quote

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

Editorial reviews

A companion volume to Robinson's luminous, Pulitzer-winning novel Gilead (2004).The focus here shifts from John Ames, Gilead's memorable protagonist, to his lifelong best friend Robert Boughton. A widowed, increasingly frail and distracted former Presbyterian minister, Boughton has eight children scattered across the country. The story unfolds after two of them come home to Gilead, Iowa: Glory, the unmarried youngest, who has resigned her teaching job so she can care for Robert; and ne'er-do-well Jack, who for 20 years has repeatedly broken his father's indulgent heart with his irresponsible, sometimes criminal behavior and - worse - his absence. "Why did he leave? Where had he gone? Those questions had hung in the air," Glory thinks, "while everyone tried to ignore them, had tried to act as if their own lives were of sufficient interest." Robinson builds subtle sequences of questions and answers, hesitant attempts at bonding and sorrowful revelations articulated among the three reunited Boughtons as they edge toward, then shy away from accusation and confrontation, feeling their way toward the possibility of forgiveness and healing. This is an inordinately quiet novel, and the patience with which even its most arresting effects are calculated and achieved requires an equal patience on the reader's part. There is, as there is in the life of every family, considerable repetition. It's necessary, as Robinson shows us the complexity and richness of Glory's stoical, though scarcely saintly resilience, of Jack's arduous progression toward genuine maturity, and of their father's seemingly naive, in fact almost visionary forbearance. The result is a compassionate envisioning of singularity and commonality reminiscent of the most soulful and moving work of Willa Cather, William Maxwell and James Agee.Comes astonishingly close to matching its amazing predecessor in beauty and power. (Kirkus Reviews)