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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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3 Beaverton Literature- A to Z



Home Cover

ISBN13: 9780312428549
ISBN10: 0312428545
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. What does "home" mean to Robert Broughton and his children? What does the Broughton house signify to his family? With whom do they feel most at home?

2. How does Glorys opinion of Jack change throughout the novel? What enables them to trust each other? In what ways is that trust strained? How does their relationship compare to yours with your siblings?

3. How is the Broughton household affected by the presence of a television set? How does this reflect a shift that took place in many households throughout America in the 1950s? Were you surprised by Robert Broughtons comments about African Americans, and by his reaction to the televised race riots?

4. Why do you think Robert loves Jack best, despite Jacks shortcomings? What is your understanding of Jacks wayward behavior? How would you have responded to his theological questions regarding redemption?

5. Discuss the friendship between John Ames and Robert Broughton. What has sustained it for so many years? How did they nurture each others intellectual lives, approaching life from Congregationalist and Presbyterian perspectives?

6. What did Glorys mother teach her about the role of women? How was the Broughton family affected by the death of its matriarch?

7. How do the Boughtons view prosperity and charity? What is reflected in th way Glory handles the household finances, with leftover money stored in the piano bench? What is the nature of Jacks interest in Marxism? What is demonstrated in the incident of the book on Englands working classes (the stolen library volume that Robert Broughton considered dull)?

8. How do the themes of deception and integrity play out in the novel? Are all of the characters honest with themselves? Which secrets, in the novel and in life, are justified?

9. What does Jack do with the memory of his out-of-wedlock daughter? Does his father have an accurate understanding of that chapter in Jacks life?

10. How are Glory, Jack, and Robert affected by Teddys visit? What accounts for the "anxiety, and relief, and resentment" Glory feels regarding Teddys arrival (p. 253)?

11. Discuss Amess provocative sermon, which Jack paraphrases as a discussion of "the disgraceful abandonment of children by their fathers" (p. 206) based on the narrative of Hagar and Ishmael. To what degree are parents responsible for the actions of their children, and vice versa?

12. What aspects of romantic love are reflected in Home? How does Glory cope with her ill-fated engagement? Is Jack very different from Glorys fiancé? What do the Boughtons think of John Amess marriage to Lila?

13. How did you react to Dellas arrival? What legacy and memories will define her son? What common ground did Jack and Della share, fostering love?

14. Hymns provide a meaningful background throughout the novel. What do their words and melodies convey?

15. In terms of religion, what beliefs do Glory, Jack and Robert agree upon? What do they seek to know about God and the nature of humanity? What answers do they find?

16. What distinctions did you detect between the way John Ames described Jack in Gilead and the portrayal of Jack in Home? What are the similarities and differences between the Ames and Broughton households? What accounts for the fact that families can inhabit nearly identical milieux but experience life in profoundly different ways?

17. Do towns like Gilead still exist? Are pastors like Ames and Boughton common in contemporary America?

18. Discuss the homecomings that have made a significant impact on your life. How much forgiveness has been necessary across the generations in your family?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Wyma, January 6, 2010 (view all comments by Wyma)
When I began Home, I thought it might be boring: a spinster reluctantly returns to take care of her minister father; the neer-do-well brother makes a surprise visit. But these people won me over. I watched the sister, Glory, grow from childish jealousy and resentment of Jack to loving him as she did when they were children and trying to help him. Jack is like an animal who runs when you touch him. He pokes at others, but will not let them get too close. Yet, he is here, at home, and he works to prove his worthiness. There is much discussion of God, faith, goodness, and love among Jack, his father, and his father's best friend and fellow retired minister, John Ames. The resolution of their lives is not altogether happy, but it is good. After listening to Home, I turned to Gilead, Robinson's earlier book. What a lovely discovery that Gilead told the same story from the point of view of Ames. It is much more introspective, and is a revelation of much that went on below the surface of Home. It might have been instructive to read the books in the order they were written. But, I think sometimes ignorance allows a happy accident: it was such a vital experience hearing the books in reverse order that I'm glad I didn't know better.
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P R, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by P R)
Reading this book, like all Marilyn Robinson's books, is like drinking a fine wine- let the words linger on your palette and savor the nuances. The depth of her characters imbued with the richness of her prose creates a heady bouquet that lingers in your dreams.
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Product Details

Robinson, Marilynne
Picador USA
Family life
Domestic fiction
Literature-Family Life
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.27 x 5.59 x 0.875 in

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Religion » Christianity » Christian Fiction

Home Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Picador USA - English 9780312428549 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Where Gilead was an introspective masterpiece of reflection and contemplation, Home is a refreshingly honest portrait of familial relationships over time. Robinson carefully breathes life into these characters with each passing sentence, until by the end of the book you are completely immersed in the Boughton family's travails, and in love with every single one of them. Here is one family you'll never forget, written by an author who somehow manages (amazingly) to get better with each book.

"Synopsis" by , The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead pens a moving and healing book about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations.
"Synopsis" by , Hailed as incandescent, magnificent, and a literary miracle (Entertainment Weekly), hundreds of thousands of readers were enthralled by Marilynne Robinson's Gilead.

Now Robinson returns with a brilliantly imagined retelling of the prodigal son parable, set at the same moment and in the same Iowa town as Gilead. The Reverend Boughton's hell-raising son, Jack, has come home after twenty years away. Artful and devious in his youth, now an alcoholic carrying two decades worth of secrets, he is perpetually at odds with his traditionalist father, though he remains his most beloved child. As Jack tries to make peace with his father, he begins to forge an intense bond with his sister Glory, herself returning home with a broken heart and turbulent past. Home is a luminous and healing book about families, family secrets, and faith from one of America's most beloved and acclaimed authors.

"Synopsis" by ,
A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year

One of Americas most acclaimed authors, Marilynne Robinson, revisits the characters from her Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead, in this "impossibly rich and beautiful new novel" (San Francisco Chronicle)

Glory Boughton, aged thirty-eight, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father, Reverend Robert Boughton. Soon her brother, Jack--the prodigal son of the family, gone for twenty years--comes home too, looking for refuge, and to make peace with his turbulent past. When he was a child he gained a reputation as artful and devious; as a young man he brought continual shame to the family; and now, an alcoholic who cannot hold a job, he is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and with his traditionalist father--though he remains Boughton's most beloved child. Jack forges an intense bond with Glory and engages painfully with Ames, his godfather and namesake, and the narrator of Robinsons previous novel Gilead.

Home is a moving and healing book about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations, about love and death and faith.

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