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Author: Marilynne Robinson
A modern classic, 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, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780312424091
ISBN-10: 0312424094
Publication Date: 11/1/2004
Pages: 224
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 203 ratings
Publisher: Picador
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Housekeeping on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Blech. I had to read this for my bookclub, and then the lady who chose it decided NOT to select this book. One good thing about book club is that it forces me to choose books outside my comfort zone. A bad thing is that I waste time reading garbage like this. Other reviewers say the author's writing is lyrical. I disliked the story so much, that I could not get around to enjoying anything about the writing style. Over and over instead of feeling sorry for the two sisters, I just felt like they were whiners who couldn't get their lives together. I have little tolerance for people who only complain about their unhappiness and want to do little to improve their lots in life.
reviewed Housekeeping on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
A little difficult for me to get into. Her poetic use of language has been highly praised. However, as someone who is not a literature or english major, I don't think I could appreciate this book as much.
reviewed Housekeeping on + 222 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
In spite of what it said on the back of the book, I could not get interested in this book, I tried, I kept plodding along till I was almost part way through and said, thats it.
Lizzie81 avatar reviewed Housekeeping on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I truly enjoyed this book. It was beautifully written, and the metaphors that the author uses repeat themselves in different variations, tying the book together nicely. It didn't end as I'd expected it to, which was also a nice surprise. I'm not sure that this book is for everyone, it was hard to get into at first, but by the time the two aunts came into the story I was hooked. This is a short book and it is not a plot intensive/action packed book. There is a balance between the descriptive prose, and the plot so that both equally contribute to the book as a whole. Personally, I can't wait to read her other novels.
reviewed Housekeeping on + 74 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A beautifully written, deeply touching book. One that pulls you in and stays with you long after it's finished.
Read All 57 Book Reviews of "Housekeeping"

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rascal123 avatar reviewed Housekeeping on + 8 more book reviews
This is a well-written book. However, I found some parts verbose, and I hard time finishing it.
reviewed Housekeeping on + 16 more book reviews
Though I am completely uninterested in "quiet, little lives of desperation", I did find that Housekeeping is a book I shall reread - multiple times. Comparisons of the structure and language feel to The Great Gatsby is the highest accolade I can give. Tremendous. My caveat is the last 2 chapters; my opinion is that Ms. Robinson didn't know how to end the story. I resent the intrusion of the christian and biblical references, which are certainly her personal heritage and interest. Her prerogative, but I cannot find that this coda to the book adds anything; I feel it takes away from the impact and value of the story and lessens the long term weight of the oeuvre.
nannybebette avatar reviewed Housekeeping on + 23 more book reviews
Ruth and Lucille grew up with their grandmother after their mother drove her car into the same lake that their grandfather's train derailed and sank into years earlier. When grandmother passed away two great aunts were called in to raise the girls. This didn't work out too well as they were not used to children and both the girls and their great aunts were uncomfortable together. So now an aunt (their dead mother's sister) is mustered in.
Aunt Sylvie is a bit of a strange duck and for the better part of the book we don't know why. She doesn't say much, she hoards tin cans, magazines and papers; she likes to be in the dark, she sleeps flat on her back with her shoes on, etc.
The first half of the book was a fairly cozy, comfy read. The second half is quite a bit darker. The closeness of the sisters begins to erode and discomforting activities begin to occur with the girls and with the aunt.
All in all, I give this one fair marks. It held my interest and I cared about the characters to a degree, but never became immersed in their lives. It was good enough that I will look for more of her work and had I been able to connect more closely with the characters it would have garnered a higher mark.

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