In an erratic series of misfortunes, Lucille and Ruth are passed on from their mother’s hand to their grandmother’s to their great-aunts’ and, finally, to their mother’s little sister’s: Sylvie. Living in their late grandmother’s house, Sylvie’s debut carries an unusual air of awry and enigma. Initially, Lucille and Ruth accepted their lot with Sylvie and thumbed down any resistance, fearful that Sylvie would uproot and leave–by abandonment or death–like the others prior. Yet, for Lucille, Sylvie’s ‘transient’ way of ‘housekeeping,’ or facing reality, was too ineffective and suffocating. Thus, with ambitious rigor, Lucille paved her own path, leaving Ruth and Sylvie in the dust. However, Ruth found powerful affinity in silence, waiting, seeing, hearing, and being.
Complex but beautiful prose. One must read slow, especially the long descriptions. Let Marilynne Robinson teach you how to sense the divine in nature.