I read Housekeeping because it is considered a great novel of the era, but I did not really expect to love it. Ettie — a friend of Ruthie's grandmother, Sylvia Foster. He was raised in a house, dug out of the ground, in the Middle West. This desire leads to his job on a train and the related events form the foundation of the novel.
Sylvia Foster — Ruthie's grandmother.
The film was shot in and around Nelson, British Columbia. When I see on the one side the inert bank — for the sun acts on one side first — and on the other this luxuriant foliage, the creation of an hour, I am affected as if in a peculiar sense I stood in the laboratory of the Artist who made the world and me — had come to where he was still at work, sporting on this bank, and with excess of energy strewing his fresh designs about.
Perhaps this book is too depressing given the current political climate, but perhaps it also explains a mindset of the small towns of the red states that are so terrified of change and their vengeful god that they will cling to anything to maintain a semblance of normalcy- because the alternative of rootlessness represented by Sylvie and Ruthie scares them even more.
They have been surrounded by death and loss: their grandfather died during a Marilynne Robinson's first novel Housekeeping were it a piece of music, would ressemble Sibelius' Violin Sonata in D Minor - slow and foreboding, full of winter's solitude and loneliness.
The atmosphere in the story is relatively mournful and heavy: "A narrow pond would form in the orchard, water clear as air covering grass and black leaves and fallen branches, all around it black leaves and drenched grass and fallen branches, and on it an image in an eye, sky clouds, trees, our hovering faced and our cold hands.
One moral we have already deduced in considering the circular or compensatory character of every human action. Nona Foster — the other sister-in-law. It was chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere.
No wonder that the earth expresses itself outwardly in leaves, it so labors with the idea inwardly.