Books like Housekeeping


2004, Marilynne Robinson


Housekeeping is a 1980 novel by Marilynne Robinson. The novel was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and awarded the PEN/Hemingway Award for best first novel.

In 2003, Guardian Unlimited named Housekeeping one of the 100 greatest novels of all time, describing the book as "Haunting, poetic story, drowned in water and light, about three generations of women". Time magazine also included the novel in its Time 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

Ruthie narrates the story of how she and her younger sister Lucille are raised by a succession of relatives in the fictional town of Fingerbone, Idaho (some details are similar to Robinson's hometown, Sandpoint, Idaho, particularly the presence of a major rail bridge and direct rail links to Spokane and Montana). Eventually their aunt Sylvie (who has been living as a transient) comes to take care of them. At first the three are a close knit group, but as Lucille grows up she comes to dislike their eccentric lifestyle and moves out. When Ruthie's well-being is questioned by the courts, Sylvie returns to life on the road and takes Ruthie with her.

Similar Books

If you like Housekeeping, you might also like: The Lacuna, The Known World, and Tenth of December