Pamela Norris

Return of the Native

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A frail old man and two of his grown-up children sit down to a celebratory meal. It has been prepared by Glory Boughton to welcome home her brother Jack after a twenty-year absence. Their father, formerly a Presbyterian minister, begins by offering up a prayer of gratitude and rejoicing. ‘When I think what it is that brings us to our Father, it might be grief or sickness – trouble of some sort ... it’s a good thing at such times to know we have a Father, whose joy it is to welcome us home.’ 

Marilynne Robinson has achieved a reputation for fine writing and the unhurried production of her work. Her first novel, Housekeeping, a moving and original meditation on transience and loss, was published in 1980; her next, Gilead,

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