Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Sometimes I just love my mom so much. Yesterday, while she was kindly walking her daughter around the corner to the deli to buy a turkey sandwich, I asked her "Mom, did you ever read Housekeeping?" and she was like "by Marilynne Robinson? I didn't get it. What was the point?"

And all my feelings of cretin-dom for not really digging the book evaporated. I truly was mom's daughter. Because while I recognized the quality of the writing and the evocative description, I was bored.

Everyone has said that this book is some-sort of "must-read" and I can see why, I suppose. The book is starkly different from anything I've ever read--full of long, lingering descriptions, the kind where you have to read every single word to appreciate it, and a kind of reverence for nature and haunting quality that are remarkable. But as a reader, I just didn't feel propelled forward--despite all the train imagery and symbolism. It's a matter of taste, I suppose; you can appreciate someone's talent and vision without personally connecting to it.

For those who care about such things, it's the story of two girls who are essentially abandoned in this remote, desolate, and gorgeous Western mountain town, and the different paths they eventually take to deal with their family's somewhat gruesome legacy. But really, it's the story of the town, Fingerbone, which features in a way as the main character, with its mists and lights and snowstorms and floods and haunted lake. It's both a vivid and an ethereal place--but I wanted more sympathy with the human characters. To each her own. I guess I have to embrace my family's legacy of liking novels with a good-ass plot.

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