Keepers of the House: A Novel

Keepers of the House: A Novel

4.2 12
by Shirley Ann Grau
     
 

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Entrenched on the Same Land Since the Early 1800s, the Howlands have, for seven generations, been pillars of their Southern community. Extraordinary family lore has been passed down to Abigail Howland, but not all of it. When shocking facts come to light about her late grandfather William's relationship with Margaret Carmichael, a black housekeeper, the community is…  See more details below

Overview

Entrenched on the Same Land Since the Early 1800s, the Howlands have, for seven generations, been pillars of their Southern community. Extraordinary family lore has been passed down to Abigail Howland, but not all of it. When shocking facts come to light about her late grandfather William's relationship with Margaret Carmichael, a black housekeeper, the community is outraged, and quickly gathers to vent its fury on Abigail. Alone in the house the Howlands built, she is at once shaken by those who have betrayed her, and determined to punish the town that has persecuted her and her kin. Morally intricate, graceful, and suspenseful, The Keepers of the House has become a modern classic.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Grau's 1965 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of Abigail Howland, the current head of a prominent Southern family who becomes a pariah when her neighbors learn that her grandfather had a serious relationship with his black maid. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807120316
Publisher:
Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
09/01/1995
Series:
Voices of the South Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
5.55(w) x 8.51(h) x 0.72(d)

Meet the Author

Shirley Ann Grau is the author of five other novels–Roadwalkers, The House on Coliseum Street, The Hard Blue Sky, The Condor Passes, and Evidence of Loveand three story collections. She lives in New Orleans and on Martha’s Vineyard.

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The Keepers of the House 4.1 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What happens when a rich, white man gets married to a black housekeeper and they have three children together? In 1964, Shirley Ann Grau won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Keepers of the House. In this book, Grau used many metaphors and some personification. This novel is often compared to The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty because they are both Pulitzer Prize winning novels and their plots are similar. The Keepers of the House is a very descriptive and interesting novel with a very rural setting and well developed characters, an enticing plot, and connections that the reader can only imagine making.
puzzleman More than 1 year ago
Great story. A fair treatment of white/black relationships in that era, as understood by a spectator of the late 20th century. The ending is a bit extreme, and the characters of the children of the main characters questionable. I came away from the book with a good feeling on the whole.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is timeless! Even though it is an older book, it can indeed hold it's on with any contemporary fiction book written today.The author draws you into the world and life of the Howland family. When the book ends,you won't be ready to leave them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After 50 years, this book needs to be introduced to another generation of readers. So many issues to consider and motivations to reflect upon that I stopped often to reflect.
MsRayne More than 1 year ago
Sometimes you come across a book that reminds you why you love your favorite genre. From me, the genre is literary fiction and for me The Keepers of The House is one of those books that reminds me why I am a literary fiction reader. The synopsis of the book is a little misleading. Yes, it is a story of family and tradition but the racial injustice angle is not a major issue. It's more like a reflection of the time and location. This novel spans two generation of the Howland family and their history after they settled in Alabama. The synopsis makes it seem that Abigail and the Howlands are mixed-race. They are not all of the Howlands (including Abigail) are white, there is small a branch of the family that is mixed race and their role in the story is not prominent until the end. The Keeper of The House starts off the the narrator, Abigail, reflecting on how her and her children ended up where they are. To fully understand the Howland family and the county the helped found. She takes the readers on a journey through her colorful and rich family history. A large portion of the story focuses on her grandfather, William Howland, and how he came to father three children by his mistress, Margaret who is black. The second part of the story is Abigail telling the reader about how her grandfather's past ends up effecting her present and the future of herself, her marriage and her children. Grau picked the prefect narrator in Abigail. Her voice was authentic. It was interesting to see how she developed as a person as the time pasted. I just can't say enough about her. I just really liked her and wanted to see how she got to the place in her life she was in when she was introduced in the first chapter. All the characters (good and bad) were well thought out and presented. Now of them were flat. They all had good qualities and bad. The Keepers of The House reminded me a lot of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (which I loved). The difference being that The Keeper of The House is a much smaller book, without all the details that Steinbeck's East of Eden had. But they were both tales of family history, how the started, and how they developed. *****I received this book from the published in exchange for an honest review***
Jonney5 More than 1 year ago
abigail is a character caught between old acceptable standards and new fought for standards. she stands behind her convictions and in the end doesn"t give in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with this book as soon as i read the 1rst page. You don t have to be old and gray to understand its intensity.Love It!
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