Homestead is Rosini Lippi’s PEN/Hemingway Award winning book. It is the story of life in the fictional Austrian town of Rosenau, from 1909-1977. Rosenau is small, and isolated high in the Alps. Most of the people who are born there never leave, and few outsiders come to stay.
The story of Rosenau is told through a chronological series of linked stories. Each chapter focuses on one woman from each of three of the local clans. Their stories are intertwined with world events. The first motorized vehicles reach the village in the 1930’s, and the people of Rosenau are changed forever.
This book is quite good. It took me a while to get into it, as the names and relationships can be confusing. Lippi does include clan charts, naming conventions, a pronunciation guide and a glossary at the end of the book. Read it before you start, and keep referring to it.
Each of the chapters is relatively short. Although there are often many years between the stories, they do flow together well. The end of one woman’s story is often contained in the beginning of the next. Lippi spent much time in western Austria, and the people of the fictional town of Rosenau are based on real people she met and interviewed. This is an interesting and effective way to tell a story. I’d recommend this if you are looking for a different kind of reading experience.
Published in hardcover-Delphinium Books-1998
Softcover edition-Mariner Books-1999