If someone asks me to recommend a book, it’s most certainly going to be Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, because I love it perhaps above all others.
Though it is considered a modern classic (and rightly so), I don’t think of it as a traditional novel. The pace is slow, and the peaks and valleys are more like gently rolling hills. There was no sense of finality at the end, no heightened moment of climax, no action-packed anything. The characters are complex, so very real they could sit down beside you. Their ghosts will haunt you.
And it is not a simple read. The writing, while gorgeous and lyrical, is dense. It is a novel often adored more for the superb quality of the writing than for the story itself. But the words! I don’t understand how anyone could read Robinson’s beautiful words and not be moved. It is sad, and it is resonant, and it is achingly lovely. Your heart will ache with the transience and the struggle.
Housekeeping feels like sitting by a mountain lake just on the cusp of winter, leaves drifting all around, wind biting at your cheeks, and sipping a hot mug of cocoa. What could be better than that?