Book Banter: Home

home coverTitle: Home

Author: Marilynne Robinson

Length: 325 pages

Genre: Literary fiction

Plot Basics: Covering much of the same ground as the Pulitzer-prize winning, “Gilead,” this story tells the tale of Jack Boughton’s homecoming, told from the perspective of his sister Glory, who’s caring for their elderly father. Jack left the idyllic town of Gilead more than 20 years ago in shame and now, returns, in just as much shame. He tries to reconcile his life with what his father and Reverend Ames want for him.

Banter Points: My book club read “Gilead” and I loved it, the quiet, powerful prose. One of the other gals recommended that I go on and read Robinson’s quasi-sequel. It took me a while to get into “Home” and I remembered the same was true with “Gilead,” but at the end, I found myself entirely caught up in the lives of the Boughtons. For a story that ties to her masterwork, Robinson did a great job of making the voice and the style different, even while capturing what makes this world so believable to inhabit. By the end, I had tears, and I wanted to stay with Jack and Glory.

Bummer Points: This book is very wordy and slow. I tend to like dialogue driven works, and the time to sink into the mostly narrative and descriptive prose will be a turn-off for some readers.

Word Nerd Recommendation: If you haven’t read “Gilead,” that’s a must. This one is like a homecoming, to return to her vivid prose and spend more time with characters you like.

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