Home: Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction

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Home: Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction by Marilynne Robinson

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By Marilynne Robinson

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2 reviews

Jack Boughton – prodigal son – has been gone twenty years. He returns home seeking refuge and to make peace with the past. A bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot hold down a job, Jack is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and with his traditionalist father, though he remains Boughton’s most beloved child. His sister Glory has also returned, fleeing her own mistakes, to care for their dying father. A moving book about families, about love and death and faith, Home is unforgettable. It is a masterpiece.

Reviews

24 Jul 2020

This book really divided the group, 50% liked the book and 50% didn't. While many people disliked the characters, mostly all felt that the writing was beautiful.

People found it difficult to always know what was going on and that and that the religious references were quite laboured.

We feel it was a purposeful book in not having a lot happening and focusing more on the characters, feeling of family and quality of writing.

Many people enjoyed the pace of the book feeling it was nice to slow down and was similar to feeling in lockdown.

What does home mean to us?

Home can feel like reverting to a childlike state, it can feel safe if and but it can also feel constricting and strange if you feel like you don't belong.

The family home in Gilead is perceived as a place that doesn't change, the furniture is old and tattered and there's lots of knick knacks.

The family dynamic

There is a lot of walking on eggshells in the house and many wished the family could just have a proper conversation.

Some felt Jack was manipulative and very selfish for leaving given that he fathered a child and then only returned when his father was dying. Jack is the black sheep of the family and feels like he never fitted in, his relationship to Glory and his father is complicated.

Jack returns home to Gilead in a very hostile environment, at home with his father and people in the community including Ames. Jack also tries to see whether he could bring his own family to Gilead but realises that this won't be possible with a black wife and mixed-race son that we only discover at the end.

Some found they couldn't relate to the family or all the characters at all, all while others could, feeling that they were multidimensional.

Glory is very much the caretaker of the family and some saw her as just a side character to the male characters. She spends a lot of time doing chores like cooking, cleaning and looking after her dad. She has sacrificed her life as a teacher to be in her childhood home. She also takes on a lot of emotional labour from Jack and her father. Jack makes her feel ashamed of her past relationship. She is often criticised for crying and being emotional.

Food plays a huge part in the family dynamic and Glory uses it to create, moods, memories and atmosphere. This could be a nod to their mother as they all gather around the table.

There is an almost unspoken feeling that the mother of the house, even though she has passed away, is still a matriarchal figure in the home. Her presence is felt by everyone and she is missed.

Religion plays a huge part in this story and the the and the way this book is written reflects that and how the characters communicate with each other. Jack questions religion and looks to it for forgiveness but unfortunately doesn't find any peace.

What would be the preferred outcome for Glory?

We would like glory to sell the family home and move away from Gilead. We would also like her to find her self-worth and a romantic relationship. It would be nice if Glory could have a friendship with Jack and her nephew.

24 Jul 2020

Dona Beryl Bucket

This book really divided our Cardiff Feminist Book Club, 50% liked the book and 50% didn't. While many people disliked the characters, mostly all felt that the writing was beautiful.

People found it difficult to always know what was going on and that and that the religious references were quite laboured.

We feel it was a purposeful book in not having a lot happening and focusing more on the characters, feeling of family and quality of writing.

Many people enjoyed the pace of the book feeling it was nice to slow down and was similar to feeling in lockdown.

What does home mean to us?

Home can feel like reverting to a childlike state, it can feel safe if and but it can also feel constricting and strange if you feel like you don't belong.

The family home in Gilead is perceived as a place that doesn't change, the furniture is old and tattered and there's lots of knick knacks.

The family dynamic

There is a lot of walking on eggshells in the house and many wished the family could just have a proper conversation.

Some felt Jack was manipulative and very selfish for leaving given that he fathered a child and then only returned when his father was dying. Jack is the black sheep of the family and feels like he never fitted in, his relationship to Glory and his father is complicated.

Jack returns home to Gilead in a very hostile environment, at home with his father and people in the community including Ames. Jack also tries to see whether he could bring his own family to Gilead but realises that this won't be possible with a black wife and mixed-race son that we only discover at the end.

Some found they couldn't relate to the family or all the characters at all, all while others could, feeling that they were multidimensional.

Glory is very much the caretaker of the family and some saw her as just a side character to the male characters. She spends a lot of time doing chores like cooking, cleaning and looking after her dad. She has sacrificed her life as a teacher to be in her childhood home. She also takes on a lot of emotional labour from Jack and her father. Jack makes her feel ashamed of her past relationship. She is often criticised for crying and being emotional.

Food plays a huge part in the family dynamic and Glory uses it to create, moods, memories and atmosphere. This could be a nod to their mother as they all gather around the table.

There is an almost unspoken feeling that the mother of the house, even though she has passed away, is still a matriarchal figure in the home. Her presence is felt by everyone and she is missed.

Religion plays a huge part in this story and the the and the way this book is written reflects that and how the characters communicate with each other. Jack questions religion and looks to it for forgiveness but unfortunately doesn't find any peace.

What would be the preferred outcome for Glory?

We would like glory to sell the family home and move away from Gilead. We would also like her to find her self-worth and a romantic relationship. It would be nice if Glory could have a friendship with Jack and her nephew.

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