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I re-read this in preparation for reading Lila.  It does grow richer during a second reading.  In fact, I appreciated the book far more on a second reading than I did during the first.

 

Also, I had forgotten how powerful and unexpected those last few pages of Home were the first time that I had read them.  While you read Home, you can't help but be conscious of the fact that Ames saw some things - and they feel like incredibly pivotal and important things - that you know Glory did not see or hear.  So when those last few pages appear ...

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I just finished this.

So where is our discussion of this fascinating novel?  I would love to hear more. 

Yes, the final pages...surely it will be an automatic spoiler to mention much about them.  They are the kind of final pages destined to ensure that our 2nd or 3rd reading of the novel will be totally distinct from the 1st.  It is really quite daring how Robinson has constructed this book.  Daring because those who end up braving only the first half of this dauntingly dark and "slow" novel will fall so far short of where they would end up if they had made it to the end.  Therein lies the tremendous risk Robinson has taken.  But it's a risk that pays off beautifully.

By the way, is there anyone out there who will admit to making it only halfway through Home?  I, for one, can at least admit that it took me a long time to get through this because I occasionally lost faith that Robinson's risk was going to yield fruit. 

Another thought : I am truly fascinated by how dark this novel is willing to be. I recall that one of the positive major literary reviews of Lila made reference to Robinson's faith and said that it's possible that her faith is one of the aspects of her life that makes it possible for the "directness" in her writing.  I thought of that statement a lot while reading Home.  Is it possible that the depth of an artist’s eternal hope can allow that artist to more freely look at darkness without flinching?  What do you think?  I am fascinated by this question.

 

Edited by Brian D

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My copy of Lila arrived this week, and prompted me to search A&F for a thread on Home, which I read this past summer. It strikes me how Gilead and Home are so remarkably different in pacing and structure, but both so thoughtful and rich in their distinct ways. I'm eager to read Lila, to see if its voice is as unique as its predecessors. Since Brian mentioned it, it also took me a *long* time to wade through Home, longer than most novels this length, but those final moments--and Robinson's rich prose throughout--were certainly worth the effort. Makes me want to reread Gilead again soon.

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Thanks, Joel. 

And in an effort to keep this thread alive in some way, I'll make one more comment about what I said about the "dark" nature of the book. 

Not everything is dark by the end, but have you ever read a book so unwilling to give us... a big "deathbed reconciliation"?  The closest the ending comes to that is when Boughton strokes the hair of his other son thinking it is Jack, but even there we have a devastating missed connection.  So sweet are those final moments then, in light of the deeply painful final stretch between Boughton and Jack.(I'm not sure I'm doing this spoiler thing right!  Any tips?)

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