Housekeeping is remarkable in a number of ways, and it’s quite simply one of those rare books that I cannot understand why a person wouldn’t like. Its appeal seems completely universal to me, and the characters and prose so rich that I can’t imagine not being engrossed in it.
I read Gilead before I read Housekeeping and they are alike in the fact that they both demand to be read slowly and savored. During a typical week I’ll read 2-3 novels, but Marilynne Robinson writes a narrative that is both so incredibly complex and inspiringly precise that I can’t help but slow my reading to a snail’s pace and breathe in every word.
This is an exceptionally beautiful book about longing, loss, abandonment, the human condition, and so much more. I’m tempted to say that the real heart of this book can’t quite be put into words, but clearly it can because Marilynne Robinson has done so.