by Marilynne Robinson
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25)
For any prodigal son, forgiveness is not the end of the story, said Tom Montgomery-Fate in The Boston Globe. In Marilynne Robinson’s Home, Jack Boughton, a 41-year-old ne’er-do-well, arrives in little Gilead, Iowa, as his minister father nears death. The same event was central to Gilead, Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning 2005 novel. This time, though, the story is told mostly by Jack’s unmarried sister, Glory, rather than by the Rev. Boughton’s best friend. It’s Glory, not Jack, who achieves a full measure of reconciliation. Though each of these companion novels is rewarding in itself, said Todd Shy in the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer, “it is a rich, jolting experience” to read them together. Whereas the pious elderly narrator of Gilead winningly celebrated “simple, persistent virtues,” Home “forces us to wonder” if his affirming worldview was a product of the same narrowness that prevents Jack’s lordly father from offering his son a homecoming worthy of the name. Together, each novel illuminates the other, said Benjamin Lytal in The New York Sun. Together, they mark “a bright spot in our literary history.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Secret Service stretched mission to protect employee, report finds
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 10 things you need to know today: October 22, 2014
- How to make corn dogs
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
Subscribe to the Week