Housekeeping

Delightful novel filled with unique female characters: Ruthie the narrator, her little sister Lucille who starts to care what other people think of her, Aunt Sylvie who swoops in to become their guardian after their grandmother passes. Their mother Helen dropped them on the grandmother’s porch eons ago before suiciding into the lake where her father drowned when his train came off the bridge and sunk into the icy depths.
The book has an ethereal beauty, such strange scenes unfold in the fog and rain of Idaho. The bridge a symbol of change, leading away from Fingerbone. Sylvie’s fit of housekeeping which doesn’t prevent the town from trying to take Ruthie from her. Lucille’s fit of normalness, picking out patterns and trying to fit in with the other girls, running away to the teacher’s house. The flood that overtakes the lower floor of the house, the leaves crunching in the orchard, the lake always beckoning. Lucille & Ruthie’s fishing trip turned camping trip. Sylvie and Ruthie’s rowboat excursion (stolen from a man who took pains to hide it from Sylvie) to the abandoned house.
It’s still sinking in, but I recommend.


auth=Robinson, Marilynne
pub=1980
isbn=0312424094