Wednesday, December 7, 2016

What I Read: Housekeeping

By far the best part of my Swedish class at Stockholm University is having access to the university library. I only have a couple of weeks left in the course, but I don't know if that means my student account will disappear. I hope not? The university library has quite a few books that are unavailable or that I've had a hard time tracking down in the Stockholm public library. One of those was Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping.

When I finished it, I wasn't sure what I had just read; a couple of weeks later and I'm still not sure.

It's a book that I think deserves quiet and focus. It's very character-driven, and while there's nothing in any of the prose that struck a chord with me, I liked that we spent a lot of time getting to know characters. I had a tough run of luck in the TIME Top 100 list when it came to well-developed characters. It's also a book about outsiders, and specifically about women outsiders.

The plot in a nutshell, if I may quote from GoodReads:

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.
I didn't fall in love with the book, but I didn't hate it either. Mostly I'm left wondering if this is Robinson's best work; when it comes to authors with a substantial body of work, sometimes the list picks a very stereotypically representative piece, and other times one that is completely out there and wackadoo. Housekeeping might be a wackadoo pick.

At the end of the day, it wasn't the best I've read on the list, but definitely not the worst. I don't know. I can't give it a glowing recommendation but it's a short and fairly quick read, so why not?

At the end of the day, it's another for the Classics Club Women's Event, which I have only been low-key participating in. I should probably do a wrap-up post on that soon—the year is almost over!

No comments:

Post a Comment