Some of My Favorite Books

Friday, September 17, 2010

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

I borrowed this book, Housekeeping, from my son. He has quite the library of an assortment of books, both fiction and nonfiction. Some books he's read, some he hasn't yet. I've read other books by Marilynne Robinson and the last one I'd read, Gilead, was long and a little like slogging through thick mud in sandals. But I'd seen the movie of the book Housekeeping. The book was published in 1980. And the movie was wonderful. And turns out so is the book.

When I was finishing this book, my mind was on a friend from high school who died this week from cancer. It was shocking. She has a little boy and had been sick more than a year but no updates were posted online for a few weeks so it was a surprise. Not a good one. And then last night as I was finishing this book, I read this passage that made me think even more of Claudia:

"There is little to remember of anyone--an anecdote, a conversation at table. But every memory is turned over and over again, every word, however chance, written in the heart in the hope that memory will fulfill itself, and become flesh, and that the wanderers will find a way home, and the perished, whose lack we always feel, will step through the door finally and stroke our hair with dreaming habitual fondness, not having meant to keep us waiting long."

It was a fitting tribute to losing a friend. A friend I only kept in contact with online and through a few cards I'd sent to her while she was in the hospital, but a friend who was always herself. Always happy, with a smile and laugh that was unmistakable. Farewell, Claudia.

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