Because Ideas Matter...
The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences presents
by Marilyn Robinson, Picador, 2010
Reviewed by Judi Morrel
Winner of a 2004 Pulitzer Prize for her
novel Gilead, Marilyn Robinson has written a companion novel, Home,
which is set in the same small Iowa town and populated with some of
the same characters. This time the action takes place in the home
of Reverend Robert Broughton, a retired Presbyterian pastor and the
longtime friend of the Reverend John Ames, the narrator of Gilead.
More character study than plot, the story opens when Glory,
Broughton's 38-year-old daughter, returns to Gilead to care for her
dying father. The two of them have just worked out a peaceful
living arrangement when Glory's "bad boy" brother Jack returns to
the home after an absence of 20 years. Both Glory and Jack are
seeking refuge and redemption from troubled pasts: Glory from a
doomed relationship with a married man and Jack from a past of
waywardness, alcoholism and incarceration. Jack, always his
father's favorite child, and Glory, only a child when Jack left
Gilead under less than ideal circumstances, form a powerful bond in
the healing cocoon of home, each finding in one another and in
their father an opportunity to mend hearts and ways. When Jack
reverts to his old habits, Glory is left to deal with the effects
both on her relationship with Jack and on their father's health.
Ultimately a story about the power of family, faith, love, family
secrets, and the passing of generations, Home may be Robinson's
best work yet.
- Judi Morrel is associate professor of mathematics at