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Summary

"[Narrator Therese] Plummer's talented performance is both illuminating and poignant." (AudioFile Magazine) 

Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award

Fortieth Anniversary Edition

This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.

A modern classic, Marilynne Robinson's 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, the eccentric and remote sister of their dead mother. 

The family house is in the small town of Fingerbone on a glacial lake in the Far West, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town "chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere". 

Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience.

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux 

©1980 Marilynne Robinson (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"So precise, so distilled, so beautiful that one doesn't want to miss any pleasure it might yield." (The New York Times Book Review)

"These tiny little titles are pocket-sized, shiny, and gorgeous. Featuring authors like Marilynne Robinson and Jeffery Eugenides, they're the kind of books you'll have to own the entire set of, because they're just that pretty - and it happens to be lovely that they fit in just about every bag you own. You can't be caught anywhere without a book, of course." (Julia Seales, Bustle)

"Our books today are the neatest little things you’ll see in the rest of 2015’s book-year: a set of Modern Classics from Picador Press, done up in a neat bow!" (Open Letters Monthly

What listeners say about Housekeeping (40th Anniversary Edition)

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wow. an unexpected treasure

Audible's algorithms suggested Marilynne Robinson to me. curiosity made me spend the credit and pleasure ensued. this is such a tighlty written, rich intense and poetic novel. not much happens but everything happens in Fingerbone where Ruth and Lucille lived in a house dense with their families absence, the gravity of the Lake and the pull of the train transportting people in and out of their lives. wonderful.

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  • martin hall
  • 06-03-21

A small and perfect novel

Certainly a book for people who don’t quite fit into the conventional world. But nature is also main character here and I’m ready to drive to Idaho tomorrow to experience it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sue
  • 09-12-20

Beautiful language

The text is rich and remarkable in its descriptors and attention to detail.
The beginning is slow, but as the story unfolds, the narrator’s inner dialogue explores so many of life’s imponderables. I was drawn into her world in fascination. Wonderful to listen to!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dailynn Rutherford
  • 29-05-22

Overall not bad

I listened to this during a long drive it kept me awake and interested. There are some points during the book that seem a little redundant where it almost goes into too much detail and the story becomes stagnant but it picks back up and the ending was good.

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  • Monica
  • 06-04-22

Most boring book ever

This was a book club book. I found this book the most boring book I have ever listened to. In fact I don't think I got more than two hours into it and that was a struggle. I just couldn't do it. Going to return this one.
I thought it was just me and I asked a couple of other ladies how they were liking so far and they both thought was extremely boring and having a hard time trying to get interested in story. No plot!

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  • Pete
  • 28-12-21

The narrator couldn't save it...

Metaphor-schmetaphor. This book is tedious. I bought it based on the fact that "Gilead" is majestic.
"Housekeeping"? Not majestic. At all. I should have guessed that from the title.

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  • Janet L. Hamilton
  • 04-12-21

Interesting characters

this story was a bit slow and seemed plotless for a while. but the metaphoric language could be beautiful.