“For need can blossom into all the compensation it requires. To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is the taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know any thing so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing-the world will be made whole. For to wish for a hand on one’s hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again. Though we dream and hardly know it, longing, like an angel, fosters us, smooths our hair, and brings us wild strawberries.”
― Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
In the madness of my life in the past few days, in between travel, work commitments and ill health, I read Housekeeping— gut-wrenching in parts, at others, spectacular. Moving and truthful, at all times.
The above excerpt is just one of the gems strewn throughout. It is a poetic book to be meandered through, savored. It’s tiny but dense– each paragraph takes some reading, and reading again, for meaning and beauty to sink in.
In 2003, the Guardian Unlimited named Housekeeping one of the 100 greatest novels of all time, describing the book thus: “Haunting, poetic story, drowned in water and light, about three generations of women.” Time magazine also included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.
If you haven’t read it yet, check it out.
What books have you been reading lately? Has a book moved you, made you want to read it again, and again?