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» » Sing Them Home

Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos

Sing Them Home
Sing Them Home
Stephanie Kallos
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1505 kb
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Harpercollins Canada; 1st Edition edition (December 8, 2008)
542 pages
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azw mbr lrf lit
Literature & Fiction

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Stated First Edition - full number line. Deckle edge. Gently read copy, clean and unmarked. Remainder mark (black line) on bottom. Mild shelf and edge wear from normal handling. No crease to spine. Satisfaction guaranteed!
  • Perilanim
What a gem Marilynne Robinson is. The only way this novel pales slightly is if it's compared to Robinson's recent "Lila," which is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for any author. That novel might have earned six stars if they were available.

But "Home" is a solid five stars compared to virtually every other recent novel I've read recently. It ranks slightly better than Gilead (Robinson's other novel in this group), since "Home"'s family story, with its quiet but pronounced tension, is more compelling and interesting to me.

I strongly recommend all three novels in this series set in Gilead, Iowa, but I recommend reading them in this order, even though it is slightly out of plot chronology: "Gilead," "Home," then "Lila." All three stand perfectly well on their own, but for the full impact of Robinson's prodigious talent, all three need to be savored. This is modern literary fiction at its best, perfectly competent in craft with a razor-honed focus on character nuance over lurid plot drama. I cannot think of any single author responsible for three such fine novels—unless you go back to the classics of the 20s and 30s from writers like Willa Cather, Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe.
  • Dagdatus
This book is a companion piece to Ms. Robinson's wonderful "Gilead", a tough act to follow. "Home" succeeds, moving the focus from the family of Congregationalist minister John Ames to that of his closest friend, Robert Boughton, a Presbyterian minister; like "Gilead", it is set in Iowa in the 1950's. Like Ames, Boughton is nearing the end of his life, but while Ames is focussed on his young son, still a boy, Boughton's attention is riveted on his 40ish son Jack, a prodigal who has returned to the family home after 20 years away. Boughton's 38-year old daughter Glory has also returned to the nest, to care for her failing father, and in flight from a long-term relationship that didn't work out. The novel charts the evolving relationships among these three, with what they say and don't say and can't say to one another, and with their private sufferings. Reverend Ames and his family appear, enhancing for this reader the sense of "home", with all the mixed emotions that can involve.

"Home" is beautifully written, and compellingly plotted, despite the fact that not all that much actually happens -- on the outside, at least. The book is about love, and the failure of love to solve everything, and forgiveness, and race. It is also very specifically about religion, specifically the Protestantism of the mainstream American sects. I think this is a book readers will love, or dislike intensely. Give it a try.
  • Coirad
I just finished this novel, years after reading the first of the trilogy, "Gilead," which I loved. This novel tells us about son Jack returning home after 20 years away. We gradually discover, as layers of the onion of his life are peeled away, what had happened to this black sheep of the family. His family is headed by an old Presbyterian minister, now retired, who loved Jack above all his 8 children. We are also introduced to his sister, Glory, a 38 year old spinster that had been engaged for too long to a man that was never going to marry her. She acts as a sounding board for Jack's gradual and halting desire for some form of forgiveness. I was moved to tears quite often in reading this kind, thoughtful, grace-filled novel. I can hardly wait to continue with the new novel, "Lila." It would be helpful to have read "Gilead" before "Home" because you would find out much more about the other key character, Rev. John Ames, the narrator of "Gilead." He is Jack's God father, the one person from whom Jack would like to have some forgiveness and closure. The end of the novel has a terrific revelation that provides a closing grace note to the whole plot.
  • Cemav
The is a good book set back in the 1950's, but having the similar turmoils of today. A challenge is forever when we try to live up to the expectations of our parents. When we disappoint they are jaded. Yet, the yearning for children to come home will be forever. No matter what they have done, pain caused, people hurt they are a child. Jack leads his life, full of adventure and regret. Glory is the caregiver to their father, and nurturer as a sister. She does everything possible to alleviate the wrong doings of her brother. Trying to ease the pain her father has in hoping Jack will come around. The daily life and story line revolve on the reality of simple life. When a simple life becomes complicated. This was a good read.