Why this book?
The first time I read Housekeeping, as soon as I finished I went back to the beginning and read it again. I wanted to keep it by me; Robinson’s beautiful prose is captivating: fluent and lyrical, yet spare. A haunting story of two sisters and their strange upbringing in Fingerbone (the town and lake of Fingerbone are characters too), Housekeeping deals with what psychologists now call ‘generational trauma’. But it does more than that: it captures an elusive, layered, childhood experience of loneliness that amounts to something spiritual and transformative. Yes, it’s sad. But above all it’s beautiful; I still read this book every two or three years.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Winner of the Pen/Hemingway Award
A modern classic, Marilynne Robinson's 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…