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Publisher's Summary

Hundreds of thousands were enthralled by the luminous voice of John Ames in Gilead, Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Home is an entirely independent, deeply affecting novel that takes place concurrently in the same locale, this time in the household of Reverend Robert Boughton, Ames' closest friend. Glory Boughton, aged 38, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Soon her brother, Jack - the prodigal son of the family, gone for 20 years - comes home too, looking for refuge and trying to make peace with a past littered with tormenting trouble and pain.
Jack is one of the great characters in recent literature. A bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot hold a job, he 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.
Home is a moving and healing book about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations, about love and death and faith. It is Robinson's greatest work, an unforgettable embodiment of the deepest and most universal emotions.
©2008 Marilynne Robinson (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Robinson's beautiful new novel, a companion piece to her Pulitzer Prize - winning Gilead, is an elegant variation on the parable of the prodigal son's return." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By S. Elder on 10-02-08

Wish that I had read this one

I loved Marilynne Robinson's last book, Gilead. As the mother of 3 sons and the only sister with 3 brothers, I read and reread Robinson's words in the voice of Ames, the Congregationalist minister, about the trust that parents must have before they, like Abraham, can send their sons into the wilderness. She writes beautifully, and she clearly has much theological thought and study behind her. This book, which included the same characters, shows what happens when that trust isn't enough. Jack Boughton, prodigal son of Ames' friend, Robert Boughton, comes home, bringing all his misery along with him. He seems repentant, but seems still to wallow, and perhaps even enjoy, his past transgressions. It gets rather tiresome and we lose patience with him. Robinson's beautiful theological reflections remain in this book, however, and, because I liked rereading and referring to them, I wish I had read the book instead of listening to it. Also, the reader's voice was a little too Charlton Heston for my taste. That too, got a little tedious.

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ann on 06-24-10

Gorgeous and True

Robinson is an absolute master at creating worlds populated by real people. I feel as though I know these characters. Having read Gilead, which overlaps somewhat with Home, I can only marvel even more at Robinson's talent for narration that is so very true to the human spirit. The same events, viewed by a next-door neighbor, bear a completely different significance. This novel carries an entirely different weight from the theme explored in Gilead. Robinson has said that she aims to write characters, not plot, and not much does actually happen. All the same, the beauty of these people, their house and this town seem so real that if I could actually find them in Iowa, I would seem to be returning, not arriving for the first time.

The reader has a wonderful knack for conveying all the emotion in the simplicity of Robinson's neat, well-crafted sentences. Perhaps it is because I am from the Midwest myself, but I was particularly touched Ms. Reed's ability to hint at emotion in dialogue between characters who would never willingly discuss such things openly. The implied, the understood and the subtle code of the small Midwestern town figure so prominently in the dialogue of Home, and Ms. Reed manages beautifully what would seem to me the most difficult task of reading this particular novel aloud.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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