Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

This book was haunting in a different way than I usually use the word. In general, I’ve found that I use it when I mean poignant and memorable, but in this case, there’s an actual tinge of fear in my description. I’m not sure if that’s just an intensely personal reaction, but Ruth’s description of her last night in the house was harrowing for me. I read the entire thing less as an ode to transience (as the blurbs would have it) than as a methodical description of a descent into a form of madness, and again I’m not sure if that’s just me. It was interesting to contrast Housekeeping with Marilynne Robinson’s Lila, which is almost the inverse of this novel (tho I never at any point doubted the sanity of any of the people involved in the latter.) I also felt a bit bad that I couldn’t stop comparing this to the Ames books and naturally finding it lacking, but this was still a worthwhile, if disturbing, read.

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