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Home (Oprah’s Book Club) Audiobook

Publisher List Price: 26.99 USD

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Written by Marilynne Robinson

Narrated by Maggi-Meg Reed

Published on September 2, 2008

Audio is 2075 hours

About Home (Oprah’s Book Club):

Hundreds of thousands were enthralled by the luminous voice of John Ames in Gilead, Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Home is an entirely independent, deeply affecting novel that takes place concurrently in the same locale, this time in the household of Reverend Robert Boughton, Ames’s closest friend.

Glory Boughton, aged thirty-eight, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Soon her brother, Jack–the prodigal son of the family, gone for twenty years–comes home too, looking for refuge and trying to make peace with a past littered with tormenting trouble and pain.

Jack is one of the great characters in recent literature. A bad boy from childhood, 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. Brilliant, lovable, and wayward, Jack forges an intense bond with Glory and engages painfully with Ames, his godfather and namesake.

Home is a moving and healing book about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations, about love and death and faith. It is Robinson’s greatest work, an unforgettable embodiment of the deepest and most universal emotions.

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A moving novel about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who brought us Gilead.

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Marilynne Robinson is the author of the novels Gilead (FSG, 2004)—winner of the Pulitzer Prize—and Housekeeping (FSG, 1980), and two books of nonfiction, Mother Country (FSG, 1989) and The Death of Adam. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Maggi-Meg Reed is a multiple Audie nominee, Earphones winner, and AudioFile Featured Narrator. In 2008, she was named the Best Voice in Fiction & Classics by AudioFile magazine. Her voice can also be heard on television and radio commercials across the country, and AudioFile Magazine has called her narration”fresh, intelligent, and attentive”. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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Questions for Discussion

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

2. How does Glory’s 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 Boughton 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 Boughton’s comments about African Americans, and by his reaction to the televised race riots?

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

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

6. What did Glory’s mother teach her about the role of women? How was the Boughton family affected by the death of its matriarch?

7. How do the Boughtons view prosperity and charity? What is reflected in the way Glory handles the household finances, with leftover money stored in the piano bench? What is the nature of Jack’s interest in Marxism? What is demonstrated in the incident of the book on England’s working classes (the stolen library volume that Robert Boughton 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 Jack’s life?

10. How are Glory, Jack, and Robert affected by Teddy’s visit? What accounts for the “anxiety, and relief, and resentment” Glory feels regarding Teddy’s arrival (p. 253)?

11. Discuss Ames’s 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 Glory’s fiancé? What do the Boughtons think of John Ames’s marriage to Lila?

13. How did you react to Della’s 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 Boughton 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?

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About this Guide


The following author biography and list of questions about Home are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach Home.

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“The gifted Maggi-Meg Reed captures the world-weary tone of the characters as life ebbs from the failing but still faithful Robert. Reed shines brightest as Glory, the daughter who comes home to care for her father. Almost as affecting is Reed’s portrayal of Jack, the beat-down preacher’s kid who has fallen from grace.” —AudioFile magazine, Winner of an Earphones Award

“Robinson’s style is old-fashioned… Maggi-Meg Reed is perfectly amenable, retreating into the audio attic and retrieving some of the creakier techniques… In writing of clergymen and faith, Robinson’s prose is near-biblical; Reed’s voice conveys a similar depth of feeling and simplicity of expression.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“In the cacophony of the 21st century, listening to Marilynne Robinson’s Home is a nearly peaceful oasis… Maggi-Meg Reed’s narration of the story is pitch-perfect… Home is an extraordinary meditation on just what the title implies.” —Sarasota Herald-Tribune

“[Maggi-Meg Reed] did a wonderful job narrating… I enjoyed each of the 12 hours that I listened to the book.” —5 Minutes for Books

“Her character is one of the proofs of Robinson’s immense literary talent, aided immeasurably by the reassuring tones of narrator Maggi-Meg Reed.” —Winston Salem Journal

Gilead is a beautiful work–demanding, grave and lucid . . . Robinson’s words have a spiritual force that’s very rare in contemporary fiction.” —James Wood, The New York Times Book Review on Gilead

Home (Oprah’s Book Club) was published on September 2, 2008.

The Home (Oprah’s Book Club) Audiobook is 2075 hours. Speechify has the Unabridged edition version of the audiobook.

Both the publication language and the narration language are in English.

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Subjects in Home (Oprah’s Book Club)

Home (Oprah’s Book Club) includes the following subjects: World Literature / American / 21st Century. The BISAC Subject Code is Fiction, Literary.

About the Author(s) of Home (Oprah’s Book Club)

The author of Home (Oprah’s Book Club) is Marilynne Robinson.

About the Narrator of Home (Oprah’s Book Club) Audiobook

The narrator for the Home (Oprah’s Book Club) Audiobook is Maggi-Meg Reed.

Home (Oprah’s Book Club) Audiobook Additional Info

The imprint is Macmillan Audio. It is supplied by MPS. The ISBN-10 is 1427205116. The ISBN-13 is 9781427205117.

Global Availability of Home (Oprah’s Book Club) Audiobook

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