A moving novel about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who brought us Gilead.
Had she not become a writer, it is easy to imagine Marilynne Robinson might have been a theologian instead. Or, perhaps it is fair to say that she is both. Throughout her concise body of work, Robinson has mined the traditions of American spiritual literature, harkening back to an earlier cultural landscape where religion, and American Protestantism in particular, didn't carry with it its current political animus -- the evangelical's fervor versus the ironist's disdain. Robinson, in her essay collection The Death of Adam, has been blunt about her interest in restoring the legacy of Calvinism and about the family as its site of restoration. There is, throughout her prose, a heightened sensitivity to the possibility of grace, and of human connection as its own kind of redemption. "Imagine that someone failed and disgraced came back to his family," she writes in her essay "Family," "and they grieved with him, and took his sadness upon themselves, and sat down together to ponder the deep mysteries of human life. This is more human and more beautiful, I propose, even if it yields no dulling of pain, no patching of injuries." In a way, Home is this imagining -- a novel no less nuanced, no less morally conflicted for the current of devotion that forms its center.