Saturday, May 12, 2012

DNF-The Keepers of the House

The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
Open Road, 2012
Originally published 1964
226 pages
Adult; Fiction; Historical

Source: Received an e-copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I saw this while browsing on Netgalley and requested it as part of my campaign to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winners (as it stands I have read...5). This are supposed to be some of the best works of American fiction and I definitely want to be open to exploring that.  of course, it also tends to mean a change of pace from my usual reading diet of YA romance and dystopian. That can be good or bad.

In this case, I was just not connecting with the book at all. After reading the summary, I thought it could be really interesting with its examination of community as the book covers seven generations of the same family in the same small Southern town and racism, especially with the book coming out during the Civil Rights movement. Unfortunately I didn't see much of that in the first half of the book.

Instead I had stories about the beginning of the Howland family, death, an extravagant wedding, and how the Howland ended up taking his servant as a mistress. I was also very confused about what year it was (post-slavery, pre-WWI, I think). And, as a literary novel, there were a lot of descriptions especially of the swamps; I feel like there were pages of them.

I'm not saying I'll never give this book a try at a later date but it did not spark anything in me since the characters were flat and indistinguishable and the plot moved as slow as molasses. I need more excitement before I can invest in a book.

Overall: DNF-not the book for me.


  1. never heard of it
    bummr you felt no connection

  2. I applaud your effort for trying. When I saw it was published in 1964, I had my's pretty cool that you're trying to read all Pulitzer prize winners. Good luck with the next one.


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