This week I am reading the works of Marilynne Robinson.
Her first novel, Housekeeping (1980), takes her central character, a young teenager named Ruth, to the physical and emotional edge of civilization. Her parents disappear and she and her sister go to live with their grandmother in a tiny lumber town on a huge lake in Idaho. When grandma dies, their not-quite-of-this-world aunt comes to care of them.
Ruth and Aunt Sylvia start loosely connected to the world. They attempt housekeeping as a normal connection with the world. This proves harder and harder. I won't say more about the plot.
I am reading Robinson as a serious Christian author. She does have some deep comments about perceiving reality.
Still, do novels have to be about unhappy people in peculiar situations?