Wednesday 4 November 2015

Review by Dips Patel of “Housekeeping” by Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson is one of my all-time favourite authors. Her first novel Housekeeping was nominated for a Pulitzer. I need not say more cos that nugget speaks for itself. (She did win a Pulitzer and that was for Gilead, her second novel, more of which another time...)

Housekeeping is about the lives of and relationship between two sisters and the impact of a third woman, their aunt, who comes into their life and the effect she has on them as individuals and their relationship. Regularly charting highly in “Books to Read Before You Die,” “greatest novels”-type lists, there's no end of difficulty in recommending this novel (and author) highly enough.

You know when you stare at something long enough and then quickly look away and there's a light, negative outline shape of what you've been looking at, and it seems to vibrate and “pulse” for a while before slowly disappearing?… Well, once you've read this book it will “pulse” for years after and you'll go back to reading it again and again, each time thinking “it wasn't as good as I thought it was last time, surely not,” and then you read it and realise it was better and just keeps getting better and better… I've read Housekeeping three, no make that four times now over the years and if there is one author and one book I'd probably recommend above all others it's this one.

About the reviewer
Dips Patel is a graduate in Graphic Design which means he can colour in without going over the lines and when he does he makes it look deliberate, cool and edgy. He much prefers fine art where the art of talking nonsense is finer still allowing him extremely moderate success in introducing his work to a wider audience. Hobbies include reading stuff, watching stuff, commendably misguided attempts at painting stuff and consuming copious amounts of coco pops, clementines, curries, cakes and cocktails, not all at the same time which is frowned upon in polite society.

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