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No Sweet 'Home'

Robinson's new novel deals with the harder side of life in Gilead.
by Marilynne Robinson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 2008
325 pp., $25

When Marilynne Robinson released Gilead in 2004, she won praise for writing her profound tale of a minister's life so carefully that her readers were forced to slowly consider every sentence. That same gift is used masterfully in her new novel, Home, providing radically different insights into the characters and much of the storyline she used there.

In Home, Robinson focuses again on the story of Jack Boughton's return to the town of Gilead, this time setting it in the multigenerational Boughton family household and telling it through the eyes of Jack's youngest sister, Glory. Jack, the black sheep of the family, hasn't been home since he committed the most egregious crime of his truant adolescence 20 years ago. Since then, his father, Robert, has lost his wife, his congregation, and his health, and his concern over the whereabouts and spiritual health of his son is wearing him down even further. Glory has ...

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