"WINNER OF THE ORANGE PRIZE 2009
A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST""WINNER OF THE "LOS ANGELES TIMES "BOOK PRIZE"
"A "New York Times "Bestseller ""A "Washington Post "Best Book of the Year ""A "Los Angeles Times "Best Book of the Year ""A "San Francisco Chronicle "Best Book of the Year
"Hailed as "incandescent," "magnificent," and "a literary miracle" ("Entertainment Weekly"), hundreds of thousands of readers were enthralled by Marilynne Robinson's "Gilead." Now Robinson returns with a brilliantly imagined retelling of the prodigal son parable, set at the same moment and in the same Iowa town as "Gilead." The Reverend Boughton's hell-raising son, Jack, has come home after twenty years away. Artful and devious in his youth, now an alcoholic carrying two decades worth of secrets, he is perpetually at odds with his traditionalist father, though he remains his most beloved child. As Jack tries to make peace with his father, he begins to forge an intense bond with his sister Glory, herself returning home with a broken heart and turbulent past. "Home "is a luminous and healing book about families, family secrets, and faith from one of America's most beloved and acclaimed authors.
Marilynne Robinson is the author of the novels "Gilead"--winner of the Pulitzer Prize--and "Housekeeping," and "Home," and two books of nonfiction, "Mother Country" and "The Death of Adam." She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Winner of the Orange PrizeA National Book Critics Circle Award FinalistA National Book Award Finalist
Longlisted for the International IMPAC Literary AwardWinner of the "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize
Winner of the Christianity Today Book Award
A "New York Times Book Review" Notable Book
A "Los Angeles Times" Favorite Book of the Year
A "San Francisco Chronicle" Best Book of the Year
A "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" Best Book of the Year
A "Seattle Times" Best Book of the Year
A "Christian Science Monitor" Best Book of the Year
A "Kirkus Reviews" Best Book of the Year
A "Library Journal" Best Book of the Year
Marilynne Robinson returns to the small town in Iowa where her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Gilead," was set. "Home "is an entirely independent novel that is set concurrently in the same locale, this time in the household of Reverend Robert Boughton, Ames's closest friend. Glory Boughton, aged thirty-eight, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Soon her brother, Jack--the prodigal son of the family, gone for twenty years--comes home too, looking for refuge and trying to make peace with a past littered with ongoing trouble and pain. Jack, a bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot hold a job, is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and with his traditionalist father, though he remains Boughton's most beloved child. Brilliant, lovable, and wayward, Jack forges an intense bond with Glory and engages painfully with Ames, his godfather and namesake. Their story is one of families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations, about love, death, faith, and healing. "It is a book unsparing in its acknowledgement of sin and unstinting in its belief in the possibility of grave. It is at once hard and forgiving, bitter and joyful, fanatical and serene. It is a wild, eccentric radical work of literature that grows out of the broadest, most fertile, most familiar native literary tradition. What a strange old book it is."--"The New York Times Book Review"
""Home" is a companion piece to "Gilead," an account of the same time (the summer of 1956), in the same place (Gilead, Iowa), with the same cast of characters as the earlier novel. Each book is strengthened and deepened by a reading of the other . . . The two books, different in their form and approach as well as in the details they reveal and the stories they ultimately tell, are an enactment of humanity's broader dance of ever-attempted, ever-failing communication--through a glass darkly. This is not, of itself, a novel endeavor for the novel (Edith Wharton once wrote, with lyrical concise wit, 'I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story'); rather it is the gravitas and patience with which Robinson, whose 1998 book of essays "The Death of Adam" revealed her rigorous Christian spiritual inquiry, has, in these two novels, channeled that rigor in fictional form; the result is two works of art of impressively unfashionable seriousness and engagement . . . Robinson, throughout "Home," is tackling almost the opposite of what she undertook in "Gilead": rather than granting a direct and illuminated voice to a single, thoughtful soul, she stands back--writing in the third person, albeit in a third person that privileges Glory's point of view--and allows her characters to perform their small daily rituals, to have their conversations, to live through their misunderstandings, each in his or her particular isolation. Crucially, she allows at least very distinct experiences--that of the devout, to which John Ames, Robert Boughton, and even Glory could be said to belong; and Jack's secular universe--to interact with one another, each with its own language and its own jurisprudence . . . What is remarkable about "Home"--and why it is, to this reader, an even stronger accomplishment than its companion volume; not in spite of its longueurs and its repetitiveness but because of them--is that it is both a spiritual and a mundane accounting."--Claire Messud, "The New York Review of Books
"""Home" is a book full of doubleness and paradox, at once serene and volcanic, ruthless and forgiving. It is an anguished pastoral, a tableau of decency and compassion that is also an angry and devastating indictment of moral cowardice and unrepentant, unacknowledged sin. It would be inaccurate to say that the novel represents yet another breathless expose of religious hypocrisy, or a further excavati