Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
A Novel

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Winner of the Pen/Hemingway Award

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, the eccentric and remote sister of their dead mother. The family house is in the small town of Fingerbone on a glacial lake in the Far West, 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 transcience.


About Marilynne Robinson

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Marilynne Robinson is the author of Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Housekeeping, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Home received the Orange Prize, the L.A. Times Book Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Robinson’s nonfiction books include Absence of Mind, The Death of Adam, and Mother Country, which was nominated for a National Book Award. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Iowa City.
Published November 1, 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 349 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Housekeeping


(Lila is gripped with fear that her beloved Doll, as an unbeliever, will be forever punished.) The fearsome storms, disturbing creatures, and condemnatory tone of the Old Testament verses may put Lila off, the Reverend fears.

Oct 12 2014 | Read Full Review of Housekeeping: A Novel

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Washington Post reviewby Michael Dirda.

Mar 01 2014 | Read Full Review of Housekeeping: A Novel

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