Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Housekeeping: Plot Summary
Housekeeping: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Housekeeping: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Marilynne Robinson
Historical Context of Housekeeping
Other Books Related to Housekeeping
- Full Title: Housekeeping
- When Written: 1970s
- Where Written: Amherst, Massachusetts
- When Published: 1980
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Fiction, generational saga, coming-of-age tale
- Setting: The fictional town of Fingerbone, Idaho
- Climax: Sylvie and Ruth burn down their family’s ancestral home and leave Fingerbone forever.
- Antagonist: Lucille
- Point of View: First person
Extra Credit for Housekeeping
Happy Accident. Marilynne Robinson’s interest in the metaphoric language of nineteenth-century American writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson led her to work privately on a series of extended metaphors as an exercise during her Ph.D. program at the University of Washington—an exercise that would become the framework for Housekeeping.