The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Keeper of the House is a book about the South After the Civil War but during the time of segregation. It covers the lives of the Howland Family, mostly William, Abigail and Margaret (William's Negro wife who was not officially recognized as a Howland). The Howlands and their eccentric ways (like ordering newspapers from the North and marrying foreigners) lead to some interesting situations. As the story is told by each of the three main characters, it covers the life of William and Margaret. Abigail, having had her fair share of difficulties, finishes the story as an adult.
My Thoughts on the Book
While I enjoyed the book, I only gave it three stars because there were a few things that bothered me. For one thing, the chapters were really long. When I'm reading, I need a place to rest my eyes and I didn't find that in this book. That made it much more difficult for me to concentrate and/or find a stopping point.
The style of writing was what I consider heavy in that I sometimes had to read a sentence several times before I could move on. I considered this to be more literary and not a smooth flowing story. It really wasn't my style of book. Besides the heaviness, I thought the book was well written. The characters were developed nicely and you really got a peek into their minds. It was actually like sitting by Grandpa, listening to him telling the stories of his youth. He keeps talking and talking, barely taking a breath.
The relationship between William and Margaret was odd to say the least but it seemed to work for the story. Abigail was eccentric in her own way before and after she left to go away to school. I would have to say she was probably my favorite character, particularly at the end.
From a Christian perspective
There really isn't much to say from a Christian perspective. This was not Christian fiction at all, there was very little mention of God, and when it was it was as an afterthought. There were implied instances of extramarital sex (I don't recall the book mentioning when the two characters were married but it turns out they were), however it was not graphic. Towards the end there is a sad act of senseless violence but again it was not graphic.
I would recommend this book for those who like Literary fiction. It reads similar to those types of books.
Do you like Literary Fiction and does this seem like a book you would read?
I was provided a copy of this book through Netgalley for the purpose of review. I was not required to provide a favorable review.
Love and Blessings Always!Margaret