Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

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Ruth narrates the story of how she and her younger sister Lucille are raised by a succession of relatives in the fictional town of Fingerbone, Idaho (some details are similar to Robinson's hometown, Sandpoint, Idaho). Eventually their aunt Sylvie (who has been living as a transient) comes to take care of them. Initially they become a close knit group, but as Lucille grows up she comes to dislike their eccentric lifestyle and she moves out. Then when Ruth's well-being is being questioned by the courts, Sylvie returns to living on the road and takes Ruth with her.

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The 801st greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 47th on Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books (Harvard Book Store)
  2. - 53rd on 20th Century's Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction (Larry McCaffery)
  3. - 85th on The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List (The Observer)
  4. - 88th on In Which These Are the 100 Greatest Novels (
  5. - The 75 Best Books of the Past 75 Years (Parade Magazine)
  6. - What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years? (New York Times)
  7. - The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993 (Jeff O'Neal at
  8. - TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine)

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